- The alcohol industry in South Africa says they will be applying for a deferment of their payment of tax
- The alcohol ban in South Africa was reintroduced at the beginning of the year and still remains in place
- The spokesperson for the South African Liquor Brand owners Association says the industry pays R2.5 billion per month to SARS in excise tax
The alcohol industry stated that it will be applying for a deferment of their payment of excise tax until the ban on alcohol sales is lifted. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that the alcohol ban would remain in place.
Sibani Mngadi, the spokesperson for the South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (Salba), stated that companies are still paying excise tax on their products despite the ban that's in place in South Africa.
Excise taxes are paid to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) for specific goods and services, such as alcohol and tobacco.
According to the SABC, Mngadi said that the alcohol industry pays an average of R2.5 billion per month to SARS in excise tax. A report by News24 stated that the latest deferment application is not the first by Salba, whose management did the same during the second alcohol ban last year.
Previously, Briefly.co.za reported on South Africa's response to the announcement of the alcohol ban. The recent reintroduction of the alcohol ban has had a mixed reaction from South Africans. Liquor companies say they cannot survive another protracted ban.
However, the relief it has brought tired doctors and nurses who have to battle Covid-19 has been welcomed. Having to treat alcohol-related trauma and Covid-19 cases at the same time can be exhausting.
South Africa is divided over the ban and many have taken to Twitter to share their views and air their frustrations.
@MikeRamothwala wrote :
"Doctors and nurses are emotionally and physically exhausted from treating Covid-19 patients. If SAB wins its battle to lift the #AlcoholBan, they must come and also treat the alcohol-related trauma cases because we currently don’t have the energy to deal with two pandemics."
"Let's debate guys... Doctors are complaining that they receiving lots of patients at the hospital due to alcohol, on the flip side people who are working at SAB are losing their jobs and houses. What should the president do? #AlcoholBan"
"President must open alcohol because people are losing their jobs. Doctors are complaining because they are not losing their jobs. Doctors who are complaining are not thinking for other people. It is clear that doctors who are complaining chose the wrong profession."
Briefly.co.za also reported on a doctor who challenged SA Breweries (SAB) to treat victims. Dr Mike Mikia Ramothwala, Senior Clinical Manager for the Limpopo Department of Health, has weighed in amid the uproar over the alcohol ban.
Taking to social media, Ramothwala shared heartbreaking images of exhausted frontline workers. The doctor highlighted that medical professionals are under immense strain as the pandemic rages on:
"Doctors and nurses are emotionally and physically exhausted from treating Covid-19 patients."
Ramothwala insisted that should SA Breweries win its legal attempt to overturn the ban, the company should come and witness the effects first-hand:
" If SAB wins its battle to lift the #AlcoholBan they must come and also treat the alcohol-related trauma cases because we currently don’t have the energy to deal with two pandemics."
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