Anchor Yeast, South Africa’s leading yeast manufacturer, has halted supplies of its 20g “Inkunzi malanga” brewers yeast. The yeast can be used to make beer at home. Alcoholic beverages are regarded as non-essential under the lockdown regulations and sales, transport and the making of alcohol, with the exclusion of hand sanitizers, have been banned in the country until further notice.
A message about the withdrawal sent to retail shops by the company has made its way into the online public domain.
Joanne Clarke, director of consumer relations at Anchor Yeast, said on Tuesday that not all of the company’s yeast products would be absent from shelves. She said the move affects a specific product used to make home-brewed beer.
“We have stopped supplying this product given that it may be used to make products that are non-essential foods. Both Anchor and Gold Star are proudly baking brands and we continue to supply the market so people can bake to feed their families or for pleasure.
In the letter circulating online, the company said: “We have reviewed our position on the sale of Anchor Brewers 20g and believe it is not an essential good as defined by our government. Although it is yeast, it may be used to prepare offerings that fall outside the scope of essential foods.
“We will, therefore, stop supplying with immediate effect until the end of the lockdown, or until the brief from President Cyril Ramaphosa or the government changes.”