By Kaya 959 News
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in SA is calling for a halt on the issuing of liquor licences for retailers at petrol stations.
BP and its forecourt shop partner, Pick n Pay Express, were awarded a Grocer’s Licence in June this year.
The licence allows them to sell wine.
This is the first such licence in the country. BP and SASOL have applied for similar licences in Gauteng, three for BP and one for SASOL.
There are indications that similar applications have been made in the Western Cape.
South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) has also started a petition calling on the public to support a call for BP and Pick n Pay Express to reconsider their decision to start applying for licences for their petrol stations.
SADD director, Caro Smit, said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has committed to reducing our road carnage by 50% in the “Decade of Action” 2021-2030, and therefore lowering our unacceptably high drink driving rate is a key issue.
“Making alcohol available at petrol stations sends the wrong message and may increase drink driving, leading to an added burden to our health system, higher costs to our fiscus, and financial and emotional suffering to individuals and families,” she said.
Drunk driving concerns
SAAPA SA believes the decision to allow petrol stations to have a liquor licence raises a number of important questions, the most worrying of which is the slow pace of legislative change in the country.
SAAPA SA’s Maurice Smithers said petrol companies are increasingly entering into deals with supermarket chains to run their forecourt shops.
“These chains, which historically were only allowed to hold Grocer’s Licences to sell wine inside their shops, now have approval via the 2003 national Liquor Act to open stand-alone outlets selling all types of alcohol. According to the 2020 Who Owns Whom report on the liquor industry, there are over 2 000 liquor outlets associated with the large supermarket chains,” Smithers said.
He said there is a real risk that allowing petrol stations to sell alcohol is going to lead to an increase in drunk driving.
Smithers added that it could also 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.
South Africans against Drunk Driving (SADD), a SAAPA SA Alliance Partner, have launched a petition calling on the public to support the call for a ban on petrol station liquor licences.
Main image credit: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk