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SOUTH African Breweries (SAB) said yesterday it would take urgent legal action to defends its rights and protect its business after the government’s “unfortunate decision” to ban the sale of all alcohol for the fourth time in the past 18 months.
The company said it was deeply concerned by the continued discrimination against the legal alcohol trade, resulting in a burgeoning illicit industry in the country.
“The current ban, which is unsubstantiated by robust scientific evidence, has been implemented at a time when the industry was already gearing itself for future stability and was ready to play its part in the country’s economic recovery,” it said.
SAB said it “believes it is left with no other alternative but to defend its rights and take legal action to protect its business and urgently overturn this decision”.
The move sought to gain policy certainty and greater transparency in decision-making for the future sustainability of its business and value chain. It said this additional challenge did not detract from the first legal challenge instituted by SAB earlier in the year, and that challenge was still in progress.
A day earlier, Vinpro – which represents almost 2 600 South African wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses – launched an urgent interim interdict application seeking the lifting of the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape
Vinpro said the court action was an attempt to seek interim relief for wine businesses.