SA alcohol industry urges govt to use sound judgement on excise duties

Business

Cape Town – South Africa’s alcohol industry is calling on government for sound judgement when announcing excise duties during the National Budget Speech next week.

Organisation VinPro is appealing to Treasury for no more excessive tax hikes and the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (Salba) said that increasing excise rates above inflation would continue to provide a competitive advantage to illicit traders at the cost of the legal market and society at large.

VinPro said that the industry was slowly but surely recovering from the significant impact that domestic alcohol and travel bans had on its revenue streams.

VinPro’s Wanda Augustyn said that they believed that a specific dispensation was justified for the wine sector because it had been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“We have made a formal submission whereby we’ve requested and emphasised the dire need for a special dispensation for the wine sector including only a marginal adjustment in excise duties,” said Augustyn.

Salba said that an excessive excise increase was another form of red tape that needed to be cut.

“Excise rates have quadrupled since 2000 but the total alcohol per capita consumption in South Africa has remained virtually unchanged. Increasing taxes hasn’t impacted how much South Africans drink but merely shifted it to the illicit market,” CEO Kurt Moore.

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