In a statement, the liquor industry of South Africa has acknowledged the concerns raised by SpritsEurope around imbalances in trade between South Africa and the European Union (EU), owing to the continued ban on alcohol sales.
The EU is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and the economic partnership agreement signed between the two parties in 2016 allows for the export of 110-million litres of South African wines duty-free into the EU region, contributing R5.7-billion in net export earnings for South Africa on alcohol.
In return, the EU exports spirit products into Southern Africa.
SpiritsEurope, in representing the largest producers of spirits in the world, in a statement issued on August 7 urged the South African government to cancel alcohol prohibition quickly or risk devastating consequences.
“Our member companies operating in South Africa are deeply concerned about the uncertainty of current trading conditions. The lack of clarity on whether and when the ban might be lifted makes business planning impossible. We, therefore, need a clear and reliable timeline,” the organisation says.
The South African economy has already lost an estimated R13-billion in direct capital investments with South African Breweries, Heineken and Consol Glass having halted capital expansion projects.
The South African alcohol industry includes the National Liquor Traders Council, the South African Liquor Brandowners Association, the Beer Association of South Africa, Vinpro and manufacturers.