Grim news this week from Heineken, that classy Dutch beer in green bottles with the dashing red star, which as a result of the COVID-19 booze ban has been forced to halt production entirely. It’s also called a halt to its plans for a R6bn production facility at the Inyaninga site near eThekwini’s Dube TradePort. This is a blow for Heineken, but also for the region, which would have benefitted from 400 new jobs and various contracts related to the plant. Heineken, which brings to market the Heineken, Amstel, Windhoek, Sol, Miller Genuine Draft, Strongbow Cider, Soweto Gold and Tafel brands, has already cut executive salaries by -20%, with no bonuses. Among the many players affected by the prohibition are 34,500 taverns, which contribute an estimated R40-60bn annually to the critical informal economy.
Comment: Again, while nobly motivated, the liquor ban has proved a damaging own goal by Government, and the sooner it is lifted – with the necessary restrictions – the better.