Consol Glass has welcomed the news that the ban on the sale of alcohol in South Africa has been lifted.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa scrapped a ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco and relaxed other lockdown restrictions on Saturday evening (15th August) as the nation’s Covid-19 crisis started to ease.

South Africa has moved to so-called “alert level 2” today (Monday 17th August) meaning glass production can once again restart.

Consol Glass, one of the biggest container glass manufacturers in the country said in a statement: “Consol Glass welcomes the Government’s announcement that it is shifting the nation to Level 3 of the lockdown, a positive step towards restoring economic stability across the country.

“We are particularly pleased that the ban on alcohol will be lifted, allowing us to increase production and enabling the livelihoods of thousands who are directly or indirectly dependent on the glass packaging industry.

“We thank our employees, customers and suppliers for their ongoing support during a very difficult time and we remain committed to supporting government’s prevention efforts so that, together, we can continue to open the economy.”

Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will only be permitted until 10pm, and for home consumption from Monday to Thursday.

The country first implemented the ban on alcohol and tobacco sales on 27th March in order to reduce pressure on trauma wards and limit respiratory diseases.

While sales of alcohol for home consumption were allowed to resume on 1st June, the ban was reimposed on 13th July after trauma admissions surged.

The first alcohol ban in March is said to have resulted in losses to glass manufacturers of R1.5 billion (US $86.2 million) and this could have at least double if the second ban continued.

Glass manufacturing is said to contribute more than R11.8 BILLION (US $677 million) to South Africa’s GDP and supports more than 26,000 direct and indirect jobs.