Alcohol abuse and excessive drinking are one of the biggest problems that we cannot deny in South Africa.
Last year, the government wanted to introduce new alcohol-sale regulations in the country, noting that the legislature needed to be re-looked as alcohol is becoming too accessible to underage drinkers.
Fast forward to this year, a recent report by Business Insider details that the government has proposed amending liquor laws and regulations.
According to the publication, the Beer Association of South Africa is willing to support changes to the government’s alcohol rules and regulations as long as they are supported by “empirical” research
While addressing the country in July, following the recent Enyobeni tavern tragedy where 21 young lives were lost, the youngest being just 13-years-old President Cyril Ramaphosa asked South Africans to stand firm when it comes to alcohol.
In furthering his stance, Ramaphosa linked two other tragic occasions to the Enyobeni tavern tragedy, the Throb nightclub disaster from 2000, and Osi’s tavern turmoil in Khayelitsha in 2015. The common denominator according to the president, is that these establishments sold liquor to minors.
In 2019, South Africa had the fifth-highest alcohol consumption rate in the world, according to the WHO.
Further the report by Business Insider notes that the cost of alcohol amounted to about R37.9 billion, or 1,6% of the 2009 GDP, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of Cape Town, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and the University of the Witwatersrand.
The alcohol restriction will include as per Business Insider:
- Limit hours and days of the week of sales – and include community participation in licensing outlets in residential areas
- Raise the minimum drinking age to 19 years
- No deliveries by drivers not employed by an outlet with an off-consumption license
- Implement a tracking system for tracking alcohol products all the way back to the source of supply
- Include an assessment of outlet densities in granting new licenses
- Consider risk-based licensing where annual license fees reflect the risk of harm associated with the outlet’s trading hours and record of compliance with liquor laws
- Support alternative income generation for home-based unlicensed outlets that will never meet licensing requirements.