A nation of boozers

Alcohol levy failed to reduce alcohol consumption

Contrary to its intended purpose, the alcohol levy failed to reduce alcohol intake by consumers.

Introduced in 2008 by former President Ian Khama, the levy was meant to curb the rate of alcohol consumption in the country, which Khama believed was being abused.

However, the levy proved to be cumbersome for the alcohol industry as time progressed, with KBL Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp, revealing the levy did not reduce Per Capita Consumption (PCC) in Botswana.

“It had no impact on consumption levels as PCC has gone from 36 litres per person prior in 2008 to 37 per person in 2016,” Beauchamp told the media on Monday.

In trying to deal with the increasing beer prices, Beauchamp says their observation has been that during this ten-year period, consumers resorted to buying beers with stronger alcohol content, such as Black Label.

In the process, the likes of St Louis, with a lower alcohol percentage, suffered in terms of sales.

The controversial levy has since been slashed from 55 percent to 35 percent by the current President, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Even though initially KBL was reluctant to adjust its prices in line with the new levy, the Chibuku producers announced this week that it is cutting prices on its products by P1.00, just in time for the Christmas holidays.

However, the reduction has been met with mixed reactions on social media.

The majority believe KBL could do better, saying the reduction was minimal and will hardly be felt.

“This is a joke, we will keep on buying alcohol from South Africa until KBL gets serious!” commented one user, an opinion that was supported by many.

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