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Oh no! South Africa facing ‘alcohol supply issues’ this festive season


Oct 28, 2021

We’re short of electricity. We’re short of jobs. In this country, we’re just about short of everything. But if our supply of alcohol gets added to that list, that has to be a step too far. Industry experts have warned that the upcoming festive season could be problematic for drinkers, due to a lack of glass bottles coming into the country.

An alcohol shortage in December? It’s on the cards…

The matter, which is out of the hands of Mzansi’s main booze providers, appears to be a worldwide one. The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have decimated jobs in the alcohol production market. South Africa was also one of the few countries on Earth to ban the sale of liquor as a measure to control the spread of the virus.

As global supply chains now race to get back to pre-COVID levels, glaring shortages are emerging all over the place – and the international struggle to find enough glass bottles to match the speed of alcohol production looks troublesome.

Of course, not all booze is sold in glass bottles. We can still have our cans, our boxed wine, and if needs be, we’ll just drink beer straight from the keg. South Africans will do ANYTHING they can to help in a crisis, after all. But glass shortages will inevitably end up narrowing the flow of alcohol into SA – right before Ke Dezemba Boss…

ALSO READ: Gauteng tavern owners run out of Savanna ciders

Glass supply issues: ‘Brace for stock shortages’, traders warn

National Liquor Traders Association Convener, Lucky Ntimane, has spoken out on the issue. While he doesn’t foresee a dry December, he does admit that there are ‘worries’ about the supply chain. Ntimane holds out hope that things will get better soon, but he remains realistic about the problems facing the alcohol industry.

“We are worried. Should the supply chain issues – which we understand are beyond liquor manufacturers’ control – not be resolved soon, it will mean an even bleaker peak trading period for traders who have had to contend with a liquor ban in December 2020. They might now have to brace for stock shortages in December 2021.”

“The supply chain issues will take some time to be resolved. We are confident that things will get better, but this shortage of glass will certainly have a direct impact on the availability of certain products on our shelves.”

Lucky Ntimane

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