The South African Breweries (SAB) welcomes the news that the South African economy will begin to re-open with the country's move to level 3 of the national lockdown on 1 June. This decision means that most South Africans will once again become active participants in the economy, and sustaining their livelihoods and supporting their families.
Following an eight-week ban on the sale of alcohol, The Government recently announced the resumption of the sale of alcohol for home consumption during level 3, following an eight-week ban on the sale of alcohol as part of the COVID-19 lockdown measures. Alcohol sales will resume on of 1 June, limited to Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5pm.
As one of South Africa's largest companies, sustaining a workforce of over 5000 we are appreciative of the efforts by Government and various industry bodies to collaborate with us to ensure that the required specific measures for taverns, wineries and microbreweries are in place for safe trading to resume on 1 June.
In response to the industry's readiness, SAB Vice-President of Corporate Affairs Zoleka Lisa said, "The industry has collectively collaborated on various solutions and measures to ensure that, beginning 1 June, outlets are able to trade responsibly and adhere to strict COVID-19 safety protocols."
As most of the world transitions to contactless dining and shopping, South African businesses are gearing up for the same reliance on technology to bridge the gap between consumer and product.
"As an industry, a lot of thought has been put into ensuring that retail outlets like tavern, microbreweries, distillers and wine sellers are included in the regulations, and that the tavern space, with the right support is recognised as one in which trade can happen safely. This will minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19, while still allowing for economic activity to resume," said Lisa.
To prioritise the safety of customers and retailers, and to support Government's efforts to contain the spread of COVID 19, SAB have put the following measures in place for taverns:
Physically equipping traders for consumer contact:
Public safety and the containment of the spread of the virus is our primary concern, alongside ensuring that our tavern owners are allowed to return to trade. To ensure that the return-to-trade is done as safely as possible, SAB will distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) such as cloth masks, face shields and hand sanitisers to taverns nationwide. This PPE will allow for high levels of sanitation in taverns, and has proved to be a tried and true method of stopping the spread of the virus.
Providing adequate education and training:
Education about COVID-19 is critical to changing consumer behaviour, which will ultimately lead to a flattened curve and allow us to beat COVID-19. To this end, SAB is committed to ensuring that taverns are educated about the importance of responsible drinking and the ‘dos and don'ts' of trading during the COVID-19 pandemic
SAB will be distributing educational videos and infographics with important information about how to trade considering the COVID-19 threat, and the importance of responsible consumption.
Facilitating the switch to e-commerce where possible:
A large part of containing COVID-19 lies in restricting human contact as much as possible, which has been the most difficult part of managing this pandemic. In this respect, we have worked on an innovative initiative to limiting this contact, while still facilitating trade. ‘Click and Collect' is a USSD model available to our partners and their customers that is easy to use and incredibly cheap.
To use Click and Collect, a customer simply has to enter the unique USSD code (*- - -#), select the products they would like, the tavern they would like to collect from, and a timeslot in which they will collect the products.
Smart phones are not needed for this technology, and timeslots allocated facilitate only a limited number of people for proper social distancing.
Once a customer has placed their order, they simply go to their selected tavern during the selected time slot and pick up their products. On arrival, the collector will be asked to present their ID and the confirmation message they received on their cellphone after the order was placed.
"As South Africa resumes the sale of alcohol in level 3, SAB would like to remind traders to adhere to all safety protocols when making sales to the public, and for consumers to practice responsible and moderate drinking in the safety of their homes. Our collective participating in adhering to these regulations and guidelines will be critical in the country's fight against COVID-19," said Lisa.