The South African Breweries (SAB) yesterday Monday, February 21, repeated its call for the government to cap the increase in excise tax on liquor amid spiraling inflation.
The SAB made this known ahead of the National Budget Speech which holds tomorrow, Wednesday.
The SAB noted the importance of the sector to the South African economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to industry reps, pushing up the price of alcohol in order to prevent alcohol abuse will be counterproductive at best, as it would lead to a spike in the illicit trade of alcohol.
With the National Budget Speech only hours from being made, it would be interesting to see if the government will hearken to the appeal of the SAB and others in the industry.
Alcohol abuse is a major problem in South Africa, and the government has been trying to bring the crisis under control. Some industry players think, though, that there are better avenues to address the issue and not the ways the government has proffered.
Expectations are already high. If the SAB should get a reprieve tomorrow, it would also translate to a blessing to other brewers, who wouldn’t have to spend more on excise tax.