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Alcohol bans leave a R4.5bn SA Breweries-shaped hole in the fiscus, court docs claim

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Beer bottles filling on the conveyor belt in the brewery factory.
Beer bottles filling on the conveyor belt in the brewery factory.

The three alcohol bans instituted by the government since the start of the coronavirus pandemic have already cost the fiscus about R4.5 billion in lost income from SA Breweries alone, the beer giant claimed in documents to support its urgent application to challenge the lawfulness of the latest ban.

Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a renewed ban on the sale, distribution and most transportation of alcohol, saying the move was necessitated by the steep second wave of Covid-19 infections. The president said that data indicated that, with every relaxation of the restrictions on the sale of alcohol, the number of trauma cases at SA hospitals has increased. 

SAB estimates that its annual "healthy" contribution to SA's fiscus includes excise duty of around R11.5 billion, PAYE of R1 billion, VAT of R4 billion, and income tax of R2 billion.

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