Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban on liquor sales in South Africa to help businesses recover from the looting and vandalism last week.
Boone said 136 of Pick n Pay’s food, grocery, clothing and building stores and 76 liquor stores were looted and burned. Two Pick n Pay distribution centres in KwaZulu-Natal were also severely damaged.
Good news is that the company has made good progress in repairing the stores and getting them ready to reopen.
Boone expects to reopen 58 Pick n Pay and Boxer in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal by the end of the week.
The progress in repairing and restocking two Pick n Pay distribution centres in Pinetown, which were looted and severely damaged, has also been encouraging.
“We will soon have a fully restored supply chain network,” said Boone.
To help Pick n Pay and other retailers recover after the devastation riots, Boone said it is time for Ramaphosa to lift the ban on liquor sales.
“In normal times, many independent shopkeepers depend on responsible liquor sales to sustain their businesses and will not survive another prolonged ban,” he said.
“The social unrest, looting, and damage have dealt them a further body blow – as well as releasing a large amount of looted liquor into the illicit market.”
“Lifting the ban will be widely welcomed across the country as a positive and responsible step forward in our recovery from the events of last week.”
Boone said they are working hard in anticipation of this step.
“By the end of next week, we will have repaired and be ready to reopen 28 of our 76 severely damaged liquor stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.”