In this article, the authors describe how the South African government has responded to the COVID‑19 crisis through fiscal measures, with a particular focus on the alcohol and tobacco prohibitions. Two severe and fairly unique measures implemented by the government were the prohibition of tobacco and the prohibition of alcohol (and related products). These two measures had an impact on the sin taxes received by the fiscus for the duration of the prohibitions but also had less obvious other short‑ and long‑term fiscal impacts, as well as various social, political and legal implications. This article reviews the tobacco and alcohol prohibitions, the responses by commentators and the short‑ and long‑term effects of these prohibitions on the fiscus and the economy, citing a particular need for a renewed focus on the excise duties on these two products.
Sobering up in South Africa: The Sin Tax Consequences of a Pandemic
Pidduck, T. Swanepoel, S.