Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance board member Prof Sue Goldstein has found herself on the wrong side of the Liquor Traders Formation following her views about an industry analysis on alcohol sales bans, but she says her criticism was misunderstood.
The issue came after the release of the controversial Distell-funded analysis which disputed that alcohol sales bans were effective in keeping liquor-related trauma cases down. It's the rationale government used to justify the three bans it imposed on the country last year and in the early part of 2021, to keep hospital beds clear for Covid-19 patients.
Although the ban has since been lifted, expectations of a third Covid-19 wave have stoked fears of another ban, something the industry has said it can’t afford, arguing that more than 200 000 jobs are at risk and that it faces billions in losses. The analysis cited government crime and trauma admission data and concluded that other factors, such as curfews and limiting gatherings, played a role in the decline of trauma cases during the lockdown, not only banning alcohol sales.