Many Namibians are eagerly anticipating the lifting of the alcohol ban as the country, except Walvis bay, moves to stage 3 of the lockdown exit strategy for the next 28 days. As Namibians navigate the country's gradual reopening, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) managing director Marco Wenk said there's no doubt Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on society long after the current state of emergency and the risks associated with the pandemic are over.
Wenk noted that consumers of non-essential and premium categories that remained closed and have now been given the approval to trade as from today have been starved of such products and as such, demand will be significant as from next week, which is likely to put more pressure on retailers and the general trade to ensure adherence to regulations such as social distancing.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted and transformed the world. Like other global beverage alcohol markets and companies, NBL - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group - has been subject to massive volatility since the end of March 2020. While our bottom-line performance has undeniably been significantly impacted, we are also clear we had to take collective responsibility to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers, consumers, stakeholders, communities and country at large. Covid-19 has forced us to re-think and execute in a completely new and different way."
The NBL managing director reiterated it has taken the concerns of the Namibian government around the social impact of alcohol to heart and will through collaborative efforts with both government and the entire alcohol industry, focus on finding workable solutions to ensure a sustainable industry going forward.
Wenk: "While we will do our utmost to make our world-class beverages available to all our loyal consumers, we are clear that we also have a collective responsibility to ensure we act responsibly in the interests of our industry. It is, thus, vital that customers and consumers play their part in adhering to, and continue practising the required safety measures and adherence to government directives and regulations."
"As government eases restrictions and restarts the economy, let us hold ourselves and each other accountable for our behaviour," Wenk concluded.