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South African Breweries (SAB) has halted the production of all beer. This follows government's extended ban on the sale of alcohol under the current lockdown alert level 4.

Alcohol bans have been implemented sporadically over the course of the pandemic. When the third wave hit South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an adjustment to the alert level and the ban of alcohol sales. After the initial two-week period, the President extended the ban of 10 July for another two weeks.

Experts believe that the ban on alcohol gives hospitals the chance to free up their emergency departments for Covid patients, as alcohol-related injuries are then minimised or completely avoided.

A spokesperson for SAB told Fin24 that "as SAB goes into a sales ban, it implements an orderly wind-down process by which the brews that are in progress are completed and no new brews are started".

One of SAB's distributors were looted during the recent riots, while its own depot in Pietermaritzburg was also looted and left bare.

SAB, the country's largest breweries, has stopped advertising of its entire product offering while the ban is in effect.

Image credit: News24

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