​In February, the Treasury announced an 8% increase in alcohol and tobacco excise duties. This excise increase appeared to be driven by a desire to grow government revenue, after a year in which the economy — and government coffers — had taken a battering from the Covid-19 crisis.

At the same time, the Treasury announced plans to amend its excise policy on cigarettes and alcohol. In particular, the Treasury noted it was considering levying higher excise duties on cigarettes and alcohol in future. In his budget statement, the finance minister Tito Mboweni said the government would review so-called “sin taxes” as part of the country’s public health agenda, to reduce consumption through higher retail prices...

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