Review SABMiller takeover bid urges Soul City

Soul City Institute for Health & Development Communication says the $106billion takeover of SABMiller will give AB Inbev access to even more cheap raw materials, labour and production processes given the discounts that will be made available to a company of this size. The same advantage will accrue to their future attempts to broker deals relating to marketing, sponsorship and manufacturing.

The world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s offer has been accepted in principle by SABMiller, making this a merger of two major alcohol producing giants.

“The social harm that results from alcohol abuse has been found not to be offset by the existing tax collection regime in South Africa. Instead, the South African tax payer subsidises the alcohol industry by paying for the health, social and other harm caused by alcohol products while the profits from alcohol sales leave the country to subsidise the health costs of other countries,” said SCI senior advocacy officer Savera Kalideen. “The sale of SABMiller will mean the continued redirection of profits offshore without commensurate contribution to redress alcohol-related harm in South Africa.”

Soul City and it’s Phuza Wize partners believe that this is an opportune moment for government to impose a 2% levy on all alcohol sales in the country so that the alcohol producers pay for the harm caused by their product. It is untenable that billions exchange hands in this way and the South African taxpayer is left to foot the bill caused by a drug that is the third highest contributor to death and disability in the country. 

Soul City: Institute for Health & Development Communication (Soul City Institute) is a South African Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), internationally recognised for excellence in the field of health communication. The Soul City Institute was established in 1992 and uses the power of media through television, radio print and social media, to communicate key issues relating to health and development in communities.

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