Even though Zimbabwe does not have a liqour ban like South Africa, Delta Beverage, the country’s biggest brewery has recorded a fall in alcoholic drink sales. South Africa has a bizarre lockdown ban on liquor sales that the authorities have failed to justify. It’s not clear what the ban has to do with slowing down the spread of coronavirus at all.

According to Delta even the relatively permissive lockdown requirements in Zimbabwe have still led to a fall in sales due to a number of factors:

Authorities around the world including those in our region implemented various measures to contain the possible spread of the virus. These included lockdowns, restrictions on travel and social gatherings and limiting the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. The economies in most countries have experienced severe impacts arising from the curtailed economic activity and stressed health delivery systems.

Alex Makamure, Delta’s Secretary speaking to the Herald on the issue

This is very true. Normal bottle stores, sports clubs, bars and beer gardens have seen a fall in business due to the fact that they are either completely closed, have to allow in fewer customers or have to operate for a few hours. Then there is the fact that people simply have less income nowadays forcing them to focus on priorities such as rentals and food.

The numbers

  • Lager beer volume declined by 18 % compared to the same period last year
  • Sorghum beer volume in Zimbabwe declined by 51% for the quarter due to limited access to the market
  • Natbrew in Zambia, recorded a volume increased of 17% for the quarter
  • While the sparkling beverages segment maintained a growth trajectory as volume grew by 35 % for the quarter
  • African Distillers (Afdis), an overall 8 % volume growth was recorded
  • Schweppes Holdings, declined by 32 % for the quarter reflecting the constrained trading under Covid-19 conditions