South Africa’s Consol Glass has warned of job cuts as a result of a nationwide alcohol ban.

The container glass manufacturer’s CEO, Mike Arnold, said the company was losing R8 million a day ($523,000) to keep furnaces and production running even though orders for wine and beer bottles have stopped.

The wine, spirit and beer glass bottle manufacturer is a major supplier to the domestic beverage industry but has been hit hard by a succession of alcohol bans.

The first two bans together resulted in losses of more than 1.5 billion rand to the glass packaging industry, Mr Arnold said.

South Africa banned alcohol sales for the third time as part of efforts to free up space for Covid-19 patients in hospitals burdened with alcohol-related injuries.

Consol has not yet suspended or cancelled investments, as this will depend on the duration of the ban.

It has, however, reallocated 800 million rand ($52.2 million) meant to rebuild and maintain its current furnace capacity and footprint at home towards maintaining operations during the lockdown.

The reallocation will result in Consol not being able to fund the repair of furnaces reaching end of asset life, even if glass demand recovers, Arnold said