Public can comment on liquor amendments by June

2012-03-08 14:10

The draft policy document on the proposed amendments to liquor regulation should be ready for publication for public comment by June, the department of trade and industry said today.

The regulations, which have been the subject of much debate, are expected to propose new trading hours – in particular on Sundays – as well as raising the alcohol consumption age limit from 18 to 21 years.

They are also expected to propose where shebeens or bars should be located and the required distance between liquor outlets.

Deputy director-general Zodwa Ntuli said the department still has a long way to go before the new liquor legislation is passed.

However, she said: “the draft policy document should be ready by the end of June and the public will have a chance to give written submissions on what they think about the amendments.

“The government will be pushing for the age limit increase, location of liquor outlets and trading hours, to mention a few.

“Liquor traders, civil society and communities will also have an opportunity to voice their views about these proposed amendments through consultations before the draft document is published for public comment,” Ntuli said.

One such consultation took place at the liquor regulation conference held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand today.

Delegates, which include health experts, traditional leaders, traders and civil society are discussing the impact of alcohol abuse in the country and ways to deal with it.

Says Ntuli: “By the end we should have an idea of how all stakeholders feel about the proposed amendments and if they have a solution that may not require the law to be changed.”

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