Namibian alcohol industry players set for ‘new era’ as industrial operations resume

NAMIBIA – Alcohol industry players in different parts of the world are continuing to count losses and brace the negative impact brought by the outbreak of the corona virus.

In Namibia, according to the Self-Regulating Alcohol Industry Forum (SAIF) the ban on the sale of alcohol during the Covid-19 lockdown has cost the economy roughly N$970 million (US$56.6m).

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Despite the effects, Chairperson of the forum Celeste Carstens commenting on the resumption of the industry’s operations stated, “As a representative body of the alcohol industry, we are pleased that approximately 70, 000 people employed directly or indirectly, within the industry can return to work and provide for their families.”

Carstens noting the impact and importance of the alcohol sector to the Namibian economy implored all consumers to approach the re-opening with a sense of responsibility, reports The Namibian.

“Our behaviour and actions speak volumes in addressing and overcoming the effect of this pandemic and therefore we need to join hands and stand together in taking the necessary steps to keep it under control,” said Carstens.

She encouraged consumers to utilize the e-commerce, home delivery and pre-ordering services, among others, while making their purchases to support efforts in the prevention and further spread of the Covid-19.

“If you need to purchase your favourite alcoholic beverage in person, please comply with the required safety measures such as maintaining social distance and wearing your mask when shopping in store,” she said.

Alcohol may only be bought on a ‘take-away’ basis in the country during the current stage of the state of emergency, with the exception of the Erongo region, which has reverted to stage 1 until 22 June 2020.

In neighbouring South Africa, Players like Heineken SA, Diageo and Pernod Ricard have partnered with Touchsides to launch the Hola Club Click & Collect platform that enables consumers to pre-order their drink from a specific tavern and collect at a chosen time, reducing waiting times and eliminate queues.

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In a similar vein South African Breweries (SAB) has also launched its USSD cell phone based ordering platform called Firsti.

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