More billions will be lost from the alcohol ban



Distell, a brewing and beverage company has condemned the nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol.

The group warned that the country stands to suffer a tax loss of R13 as a result of the ban.

The group said the alcohol industry had already lost R15 billion and over 118,000 people had lost their jobs.

“Industry figures show the tax loss from the first six-week ban on alcohol sales alone came to R15.4 billion, and if the current ban remains in place for nine weeks, an additional R13 billion will be lost to the fiscus,” said Distell.

Distell CEO Richard Rushton said the economic effects of the alcohol ban needed to be evaluated by the government before it was banned.

“The long-term damage will be immense – wine farms, restaurants, glass container manufacturers and taverners are all bleeding and many will not survive”.

“We’re facing a structural decline in output capacity in an industry that supports almost one million livelihoods and accounted for 3% of South Africa’s gross domestic product in 2019”, Rushton said.

He also said the ban has made illegal market to progress while the legal ones are retrogressing.

“The irony is that the ban punishes licensed, compliant tavern owners while the illicit market thrives, undoing a decade-long drive to formalise the sector and bring it into the regulatory fold”, it said.

He is of opinion that they can work together with the government to see how the effects can be subsidized.

“There are alternatives to an outright ban which we’d like to discuss with the government so we can save lives and livelihoods – it doesn’t have to be one or the other.”

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