- Alcohol producers and traders have called for Covid-19 restrictions to be eased and for liquor trading to be allowed for off-site consumption, but at present face a blanket ban.
- The latest request is the second from the industry, which applied for a deferment during the country's second alcohol sales ban last year.
- Alcohol producers and traders pay SARS about R2.5 billion a month in excise tax for imported and local products but the ban means that companies will have to pay excise tax for products that are sitting in their warehouses and can't be sold due to the ban.
In its statement on Tuesday, the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) said the extension of the ban, which was imposed in December, left the industry with no choice but for it to apply for a deferment on the excise duty payment.
On Tuesday, in a webinar on the illicit alcohol industry by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Amanda Lotheringen, director of monitoring complaints at the Department of Trade and Industry, said the government had lost R7.8 billion in direct tax and R5.8 billion in excise tax due to the ban.
"With less than a week before the 2021 harvest commences, the South African wine industry faces a grim picture of business closures, job losses, downward price pressure, structural damage to subsectors, a decline in production without investment, quality deteriorating, a loss to the fiscus and diversification away from wine," said Vinpro CEO Rico Basson.