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SOUTH AFRICA: Tax on liquor could benefit crime victims

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A special tax on liquor, firearms and ammunition has been put forward to supplement a fund to compensate victims of violent crime in South Africa.

In an extensive 250-page discussion paper the South African Law Commission has linked alcohol to many of the serious crimes plaguing the country.

The commission looked at various models to raise funds from around the world, but queried whether they could be applied to South Africa.

The project team put forward its own suggestion linking alcohol and firearms to violent crime.

The links between the consumption of alcohol and the prevalence of violent crime in SA are well supported by data, and, as such, it might be reasonably argued that the consumers of alcohol ought to provide funds for the compensation of victims.

Research by the Commission estimated that alcohol would generate R3,5bn in this financial year. If taxes were raised by 10% in order to fund a VCS, about R350 million could be generated. It also accepted that such taxes could either discourage demand or encourage tax avoidance, reducing the amount of revenue generated.


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