Durban - A liquor company says the departments of health and social development are threatening thousands of jobs by pushing the Control of Marketing of Alcohol Bill.
The Brandhouse company said if the bill, supported by the two, was passed, the alcohol industry would have to retrench 12 000 workers.
Passage of the bill would mean a ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship of sport.
Brandhouse said the industry had invested R700 million in sport – “R40m in grass roots development, including Safa leagues, affecting 30 000 young players,” said Brandhouse spokesman Sibani Mngadi.
He said the industry had spent R541m advertising on SABC radio and television stations, R440m on DStv, R300m on e.tv, R192m on print and R114m in cinemas since last year.
The Association for Responsible Alcohol Use, which represents alcohol producers, said its request to provide input on the bill had been ignored.
“We agree there is a problem of alcohol abuse, but there can be a better solution than banning advertising,” said spokesman Mike Mabasa.
SA Breweries and Brandhouse will appear before the portfolio committee on sport and recreation in Cape Town tomorrow to discuss how the ban will affect sport.
The Health Department will not attend.
Spokesman Popo Maja said the department was not prepared to engage the alcohol industry – its aim was to preserve life and it was concerned about the many people admitted to hospitals because of alcohol-related injuries.
Social Development spokeswoman Lumka Oliphant said her department would also not be there and the industry would be consulted after the bill has been gazetted. - The Mercury