The South African Breweries (SAB) launched a campaign last week to reinstate the sale of alcohol after President Cyril Ramaphosa banned alcohol sale on the 28th December as a way of easing pressure on hospitals as they battled the Covid-19 crisis. However, the campaign might have created conversations but has been as unsuccessful as campaigns get.
In a bid to create uproar against the banning of alcohol sales, SAB took the issue to social media in a bid to strong arm government into opening up alcohol sales. On the forefront of the campaign was socialite Khanyi Mbau. Unfortunately Khanyi’s campaign for SAB wasn’t well welcomed as doctors and other South Africans felt in order to concentrate efforts on the pandemic, alcohol ses should remain withheld. A few more campaigns dropped from different influencers finally exposing that it wasn’t just Khanyi Mbau who was supposedly concerned about Covid-19 but rather individuals who had been paid to make their case. Doctors and nurses alike spoke up against the sale of alcohol, highlighting the strain they are under without bringing alcohol into the equation. In the opposite direction is members of SAPS who have been caught smuggling alcohol.
Following that, the SABS influencer brief was leaked thus fully exposing SAB’s campaign.
Health department spokesperson Popo Maja responded to the campaign by further highlighting the ups of banning alcohol say. “SAB is in denial about the negative effects of alcohol in the country. There is no such thing as ‘responsible drinking of alcohol’…Banning the sale of alcohol during this festive period has certainly assisted in alleviating the burden of trauma in our health facilities,” he said.
To put the final nail to the coffin was President Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address which did not lift alcohol ban. Clearly non of the hash tags SAB brought in could have saved the situation. Gear up for a longer alcohol free period!