The South African alcohol industry noted the findings in the report by the South African Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC) Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit to the Portfolio Committee on Health on the impact of alcohol on South Africa’s health services.
Based on SAMRC’s recommendations, the Government came to the sudden decision stopping all business operations across the alcohol industry, undermining the overall supply chain logistics and putting at risk almost a million jobs supported by the industry.
Professor Charles Parry, head of the SAMRC’s Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit made several claims about the benefit of the new ban in preserving a certain number of hospital beds as well as providing financial savings to the public health sector.
The alcohol industry has written to the Medical Research Council (MRC) requesting the data used to decide to prohibit the formal sale and distribution of alcohol with immediate effect as of midnight on Sunday, 12 July.
Access to the data will enable the industry and any other interested parties to understand better how these indicated conclusions and assumptions were arrived at.
We agree with SAMRC President Dr Glenda Gray that there should be a national alcohol policy and an endeavour to promote responsible drinking.
We have offered to help set up a national multi-stakeholder forum with Government and civil society focusing on identifying and prioritising problem areas—based on research and credible current data—and jointly designing interventions targeting these key areas with enhanced current programmes and new measurable and evidence-based initiatives.
More importantly, the suggested SAMRC data may assist us in designing and implementing the sustainable, targeted interventions to reduce alcohol harm that we are currently working on.
Sibani Mngadi – Spokesperson for the South African alcohol industry
The South African alcohol industry includes but is not limited to the National Liquor Traders Council, South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA), the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), Vinpro, the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa (LTASA), and manufacturers.
Issued by FTI Consulting on behalf of the alcohol industry
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