SAB halts beer production amid extended alcohol sales ban

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South African Breweries has halted beer production.
South African Breweries has halted beer production.
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The country’s largest beer maker, South African Breweries (SAB), has stopped all production following the extension of government's alcohol sales ban as part of lockdown regulations.

Government instituted the ban at the end of June as South Africa was hit by a deadly third Covid-19 wave in order to keep hospital beds available for Covid-19 patients and free of alcohol-related trauma cases. The ban was extended on 10 July.

"As SAB goes into [a sales] ban, it implements an orderly wind-down process by which the brews [that] are in progress are completed and no new brews are started," the company told Fin24. 

The brewer added that it could not confirm whether this would result in shortages once the ban is lifted, but said it exacerbates the pressure the industry is under.

SAB also confirmed that its Pietermaritzburg depot was looted and "left bare", while its Denver depot in Johannesburg has had minor damage. 

The Carling Black Label beer maker added that one of its distributors had also been looted resulting in vehicle damage and stock loss. The company is being assisted by police, private security companies and the South African National Defence Force, to keep its property safe.

SAB is not the only liquor producer that was impacted by looting, on Wednesday evening, Savanna maker Distell's distribution centre in New Germany, Durban, was attacked for a second time




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