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Alcohol, tobacco industries 'shocked' as prices hiked on booze, cigarettes

During his 2021 Budget speech on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that drinkers and smokers will be paying 8% more.

FILE: The South African Liqour Brand Owner's Association said kicking the industry while it's down on its knees would result in more jobs being shed. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The alcohol and tobacco industries were not pleased with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget speech, reacting with shock as they were expecting some relief after the impact of numerous sale bans.

Drinkers and smokers will be paying 8% more for their choice of drink and tobacco product.

The South African Liqour Brand Owner's Association said that kicking the industry while it was down on its knees would result in more jobs being shed.

Chief executive officer Kurt Moore said: “There is no contingency for tax increases, forcing further drastic actions to cut costs. We will see tens of thousands of job losses within the sector whose livelihoods cannot be sustained. The industry’s view is that lowering the inflation adjustment for 2021 would have delivered a better and quicker recovery to pre-COVID volume and tax contribution numbers.”

The South African Tobacco Transformation Alliance agreed, saying the move was not good for consumers.

“The consumers will then have to buy the cheaper cigarette, and we all know that comes from the illicit traders,” said the alliance's Zacharia Motsumi.

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