PARLIAMENT - Come April 1, pipe and cigarette smokers and those who partake in alcohol are set to dig deeper into their pockets as the annual increases in the excise duties on sin taxes comes into effect.
According to South Africa's 2018 budget review, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday, traditional African beer drinkers would be the only ones exempt from paying higher taxes.
Those partaking in the hard stuff like whiskey and brandy will pay 8.5 percent more for their indulgence, while taxes on beers will rise by 10 percent.
Wine drinkers will also fork out more. The excise duties on unfortified wine will increase by 8.5 percent, while unfortified wine taxes sees a six percent hike.
The price for a packet of cigarettes will go up 8.5 percent, with the taxes increasing from R14.30 per pack of 20 to R15.52 - a tax that sellers will pass on to the consumer.
The budget also moots tougher measures to reduce smoking, in line with an announcement by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi almost two years ago that South Africa would tighten its laws governing tobacco products. This would have include banning the sale of cigarettes at store counters and the doing away of branding on packets.
The 2018 budget review indicated that tougher measures were in the pipeline.
"The National Treasury and the department of health will explore additional measures to reduce consumption of tobacco products, including a minimum price and stronger enforcement."
- African News Agency