Responsible alcohol trade is an important facet of SAB’s service delivery to the degree that the Responsible Trader Programme was launched in 2011. This programme highlights the importance of setting an example for the community through SAB trade in alcohol. It also showcases how SAB and related traders are active in the fight against alcohol abuse. Responsible alcohol trade is an essential element in the sustainability of the business as a whole, as well as the sustainability of our beautiful country.
The liquor industry in South Africa isn’t ‘normal’ and SAB has been pressing for legislation to normalise it for many years.
Legalisation of Shebeens
Due to the legacy of apartheid there were approximately 15 370 licensed liquor outlets, and about 250 000 illegal shebeens present in South Africa in 1994. SAB believes that our largest priority in liquor legislation is to bring all of the currently unlicensed shebeens into the regulatory net.
Shebeens can benefit from this as much as the rest of South African can:
- They can buy directly from SAB
- They can participate in all SAB promotions
- They can become purchase points for customers in their vicinity
- They no longer run the risk of police raids and the confiscation of stock
The existence of a huge illegal sector not only creates a distorted liquor market in the country, but it also creates very significant social and economic costs.
Licensing will also result in sustaining close to 1 million formal jobs in the South African economy, improving South Africa’s formal employment figures considerably.
Tackles Alcohol Related Issues
South Africa is not without issues and in our industry we come face to face with those related to alcohol abuse. Underage drinking, foetal alcohol syndrome and drinking and driving are a primary concern for us and we hope that our Responsible Trader Programme will assist in combatting the cause and effects of these problems. This is the sole reason that this programme was brought into effect.
The above issues can have catastrophic effects on families, friends, businesses and communities, but they can also be avoided. We encourage all traders to adopt responsible alcohol trade by educating their patrons on the consequences of their actions; both socially and from a health perspective.
Strong regulation, awareness programmes and enforcement all work together to ensure the SAB trade works alongside communities to guide and assist them. More than 13 700 traders have become a part of the Responsible Trader Programme and over half of these traders have taken assessment tests to verify their stance in the SAB responsible trade of alcohol. Thankfully, 81% of these traders scored over 80% in their assessments. One more step towards a positive and prosperous future for all South Africans.