Saapa urges BP to rethink decision to sell alcohol at petrol stations

The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) said that the move to sell alcohol at petrol stations would increase a culture of drinking or drinking while driving.

FILE: In June, BP and Pick n Pay Express were issued a grocer's licence that allows them to sell wine in Joburg. Picture: Veronica Mokhoali/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) is urging BP to rethink its decision to sell alcohol from its forecourt shops.

Saapa handed over a memorandum to the petroleum company on Wednesday calling on them to halt plans to sell alcohol at fuel stations.

In June, BP and Pick n Pay Express were issued a grocer's licence that allows them to sell wine in Joburg. The body said that it had noted applications by forecourt shops at three more BP petrol stations in Gauteng and two in the Western Cape.

Saapa said that the move to sell alcohol at petrol stations would increase a culture of drinking or drinking while driving.

The body said that the country already had one of the highest car crash rates globally, 58% of which were alcohol related.

Director Maurice Smithers said that the sale of alcohol from petrol stations could significantly increase the number of outlets by up to 5,000 if all petrol stations should apply for a liquor licence.

“We have also approached provincial governments who are the custodians of liquor licences in the country, requesting them to have a moratorium on awarding liquor licenses to petrol stations, at least until the liquor Amendment Bill has been passed by national government,” he said.

He said that Saapa was calling on BP to recognise and understand the potential problems arising from selling alcohol from petrol stations and to act in the interest of the common good, development and public health.

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