The renewed prohibition of alcohol gross sales with quick impact has resulted within the South African alcohol trade having no alternative however to use for a deferment of the fee of over R5 billion in excise duties for July and August 2020.
In a press release on Tuesday (21 July), the South African liquor trade mentioned that the overall excise due for July is estimated to be R2.51 billion.
It added that in August, the estimated excise could be R2.58 billion and that whole excise funds resulting from SARS over these two months is R5.1 billion.
South African Liquor Model house owners Affiliation (Salba) spokesperson, Sibani Mngadi, defined that alcohol excise tax is imposed on the level of manufacturing.
“Which means that our trade has a legal responsibility to pay excise tax on finish merchandise which can be in warehouses, (which) can’t be bought because of the prohibition of gross sales with quick impact introduced final Sunday,” he mentioned.
Mngadi mentioned that the trade and its whole worth chain are dealing with an infinite monetary disaster, and its capability to make these funds is severely constrained.
He mentioned that the sustainability of the sector, now and within the post-Covid-19 period, depends on this deferment if job losses are to be prevented.
“The federal government’s nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol has far-reaching repercussions. A extra focused and nuanced strategy is required, and the trade has appealed to the federal government to enter into discussions on affordable and viable alternate options,” he mentioned.
“The trade shares with the federal government its considerations concerning the rise in Covid-19 infections and can proceed to assist efforts to curb this unprecedented well being emergency.
“We reiterate our dedication to associate with the federal government to create a social compact that drives behavioural change concerning the use and consumption of alcohol.
“We’ll proceed to supply our unanimous assist in making our property obtainable to authorities in preventing this pandemic collectively,” he mentioned.
Whereas the liquor trade didn’t point out particular alternate options, a few of authorities’s prime medical advisors have indicated that South Africa might have a look at modifications past the alcohol ban.
Presenting in parliament on Wednesday (15 July), the South African Medical Analysis Council’s (SAMRC’s) Professor Charles Parry mentioned that this might embody limiting the provision of alcohol, lowering the drunk driving restrict and modifications to promoting.
Nonetheless, he additionally famous that there are additionally issues with these proposed restrictions.
“In distinction to a ban on alcohol gross sales, a mix of methods is more difficult to implement and prone to have lesser impression, even when utilized in mixture,” he mentioned.
Parry added that these restrictions ought to have been launched at the beginning of stage 3, as an alternative of now when there’s a scarcity of hospital beds.
“Strategically, we did push with the MAC that it may be helpful to think about taking such an strategy to forestall push-back from the general public and the liquor trade and related companies.
“It may additionally make it simpler to defend authorized challenges as a result of then the federal government might say they initiated much less intrusive methods first.”
A number of the alternate options put ahead embody:
- Restrict availability of alcohol by lowering hours it’s in a position to be bought;
- Rising the authorized consuming age to 19;
- Not permitting supply of alcohol by third-party companies;
- Decreasing the authorized blood alcohol limits to 0.02g/100ml;
- Improve costs by way of tax;
- Scale back promoting avenues and solely enable factual info in advertisements;
- Ban the sale of alcohol in containers or items that encourage heavy consuming (like 1 litre bottles);
- Intensify counselling and medically assisted remedy for these combating dependence.
Learn: South Africa might introduce these new consuming legal guidelines to fight alcohol abuse