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Government defers the payment of $300 million in excise duties on alcohol sales

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The South African government has deferred payment of $300 million in excise duty on alcohol sales owed to the country’s alcohol industry for ninety days from August,  APA (African Press Agency) learned on Wednesday, 5 August 2020.

The State Treasury said it had granted such a moratorium following the liquor industry’s request to suspend payment in order to alleviate its economic situation during the ban on alcohol sales during the lockdown period.

As a result of this development, South African alcohol industry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi described the postponement as “a great relief”.

“The cost of the excise tax is a major part of the cost of business, and we appreciate the positive response we have received from the tax authorities,” Mngadi said.

She said this would go a long way in “minimizing the risk we currently have regarding employment and meeting our obligations to suppliers.”

She added that the industry was negotiating with the government to have the ban lifted so it could start paying taxes again.

The government ban on the sale of alcohol was enforced due to fears that alcohol-induced accidents could overwhelm the South African healthcare system, to the detriment of the treatment of Covid-19 patients .

– APA

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