Pricing is proven as an effective way to reduce alcohol consumption, says prof
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has announced that the provincial government wants to fast-track the possible introduction of a minimum unit price on alcohol.
Van Walbeek says this could help combat the culture of excessive drinking in the province and country.
Van Walbeek, who's the director of UCT's REEP unit, says alcohol consumption reduces with an increase in its price.
With alcohol, the price elasticity seems to differ somewhat between beer, wine, and spirits.Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
They are relatively less responsive to changes to the price of beer... For every 10% increase in the price of beer, consumption will drop by between 4% or 5%.Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
For wine, it's a little bit more, and for spirits, we estimate that for every 10% increase in the price, consumption drops between 7% and 8%.Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
Compared to Scandavnatvian countries, the professor says alcohol is "dirt cheap" in South Africa.
Van Walbeek says cheap wine products such as 'papsak' and rooi proppie' needs to be regulated in the rural areas and farming communities.
You find that there's a very very cheap 'papsak' type of wine that is sold at very low prices, often aimed at the lower socio-economic group and often just for the sake of drinking. It's strong on alcohol, it's cheap and it's the only way to get drunk.Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
At the bottom end, you find that alcohol is still sold very cheaply. Research that we've done indicates that a very large percentage of alcohol in South Africa is consumed in an abusive way. That's what Premier Winde is aiming at.Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
Our estimates indicate that at least 80% of all alcohol is consumed in a way that is deemed as excessive or abusive by the World Health Organisation (WHO).Professor Corné van Walbeek, Director - REEP at UCT
Listen to Prof Corne Walbeek in conversation with Lester Kiewit:
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