Streaming issues? Report here
CapeTalk logo 2017 1500 x 1500 CapeTalk logo 2017 1500 x 1500
Weekend Early
03:00 - 06:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King
See full line-up
Weekend Early
03:00 - 06:00
Home
arrow_forward
Local

Could introducing a minimum unit price for booze curb binge drinking?

24 May 2019 12:27 PM
Tags:
Alcohol
Alcohol abuse
Binge drinking

A study for the WC government suggests increasing the excise tax on alcohol will, in fact, do little to curb heavy drinking.

In 2018 Scotland introduced a minimum unit price on alcohol with the aim of reducing binge drinking.

But would a similar initiative work in South Africa?

According to the World Health Organisation, alcohol consumption levels here are among the highest in the world.

A study by the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for the Western Cape Government has researched various price-based interventions to reduce abusive drinking.

They included increasing excise taxes and, like in Scotland, introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol.

UCT's Prof Corne van Walbeek joined Pippa Hudson to discuss the findings of the study.

Read: Life coach tells how he went from alcoholic insanity to sobriety

Also read: Cape schools being allowed to host events serving alcohol remains a thorny issue

He says the research suggests increasing the excise tax on the price of alcohol will do little to abate heavy drinking.

We're not saying that excise taxes are not effective, people DO respond to increases in the excise tax, but sadly the people who are causing the most harm to themselves and society are somewhat less responsive.

Prof Corne van Walbeek, Professor in the School of Economics - UCT

But a minimum unit price is likely to have a much larger impact on consumption by heavy drinkers.

Basically what it does is it targets products sold at really, really cheap prices.

Prof Corne van Walbeek, Professor in the School of Economics - UCT

We are proposing something like R6 per standard drink and that would not affect most drinks.

Prof Corne van Walbeek, Professor in the School of Economics - UCT

Listen to the full interview below:


24 May 2019 12:27 PM
Tags:
Alcohol
Alcohol abuse
Binge drinking

More from Local