By Kaya 959 Reporter
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance has called on BP to halt plans to sell alcohol at petrol stations.
BP and Pick n Pay Express were granted a licence to sell wine at petrol stations in Gauteng.
SAAPA SA on Wednesday handed over their memorandum to BP. Director Maurice Smithers said the effects of alcohol already costs South Africa R38-billion annually.
Smithers added that it is the most harmful drug for users and non-users alike.
He says it is also the third-largest contributor to death and disability after unsafe sex/sexually transmitted infections and interpersonal violence, both of which are themselves influenced by alcohol consumption.
“BP is now fuelling the alcohol harm problem by encouraging their forecourt shops to apply for liquor licences. We believe further that the Gauteng provincial government has erred by approving the first such licence as we are of the view that this is not in the interests of the public health of South Africans,” Smithers said.
Call for moratorium on awarding such licences
Smithers called on provincial liquor authorities to implement a moratorium on awarding such licences.
“The decision to allow petrol stations to have liquor licences is problematic as South Africa’s newly-adopted Liquor Policy of 2016 recommends strongly that premises attached to petrol stations should not be awarded liquor licences.
“The long-awaited Liquor Amendment Bill of 2016, which is based on the 2016 Policy, specifically outlaws the granting of licences to such premises. So the failure by the national Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to fast-track what were deemed by Cabinet to be important and urgent amendments to the law has created the space for provinces to decide for themselves whether to award such licences,” he said.
Smithers added that there is a real risk that allowing petrol stations to sell alcohol is also going to lead to an increase in drink driving.
“It will serve to undermine the efforts of the Department of Transport to reduce alcohol-related traffic incidents through the Road Traffic Amendment Bill, which is currently being considered by Parliament.”