News24

Liquor bill hard to enforce, says group

2012-02-06 20:30

Johannesburg - Parts of the draft Gauteng liquor bill could be difficult to enforce, the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) said on Monday.

A prohibition on selling alcohol to pregnant women showed commitment to the prevention of foetal alcohol syndrome, but could prove difficult in practice, said ARA director Adrian Botha.

"While the intentions behind the legislation are good, it presents a difficulty for the seller: how do they know if a woman is pregnant?"

Many women did not appear pregnant until the third trimester.

According to a section of the draft legislation, a licensed liquor trader will not be allowed to sell, supply or give alcohol to minors, anyone wearing a school uniform, anyone who "reasonably appears to be intoxicated", or pregnant women.

The draft bill also makes no distinction between on-premise consumption and off-premise sales of alcohol.

"[According to the draft] pregnant women will not be allowed to buy a bottle of wine for her family and friends to drink at home," said Botha.

Earlier, Democratic Alliance spokesperson Gavin Lewis said that the bill would conflict with the Constitution and gender equity regulations.

Botha said there were references in the draft legislation to the possible introduction of specified times and days when alcohol sales would be prohibited.

If unreasonable, such restrictions could lead to an increase in unlicensed liquor sellers.

According to the draft legislation, a licence application must be accompanied by the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) or status of the applicant, indicating their shareholding, member’s interest or partnership structure.

It states that the MEC may issue regulations directing that all applicants must meet a certain BBBEE status within a determined period.

Lewis said these provisions could add to the burden of small businesses, which would likely find it more difficult to implement than big industries.

Despite these concerns, Lewis said the bill did indicate "a real desire to clamp down on substance abuse" and tighten the responsibilities of liquor outlets.

Comments
  • Cracker - 2012-02-06 21:13

    The laws in this country remind more and more of the silly apartheid laws.

      planetdonovan - 2012-02-06 21:30

      luckily this isn't a law yet, but it sometimes seems like mp's feel like they have to tinker with the law all the time. someone should tell them that it's ok and they don't have to try and look busy because we know they're useless...

      nspaynter - 2012-02-07 10:54

      Cracker, in the USA the age limit for alcohol is 21. And you HAVE to produce proof of age when required. Otherwise the dealer loses his liquor license. They don't have apartheid in the USA....... What has it to do with apartheid?

      nspaynter - 2012-02-07 11:01

      Cracker, this is NOT a silly law. We have a SERIOUS alcohol abuse problem in SA. I see it almost every day where I live. The worst was a few days ago parents were fighting and they were bleeding from stab wounds. Their young son was hiding under a bush shivering with fright. THAT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! If you saw this would you still say it's a silly law?

      Leann - 2012-02-07 11:28

      OMG will you get off your high horse and leave cracker alone? It is a silly law. How the heck are they going to enforce it? Anyway the people that abuse alcohol will continue to do so and those that dont will suffer. I mean really so now I am pregnant and want to go buy a bottle of wine for a family dinner and now cant? It really is stupid!!!

      nspaynter - 2012-02-07 11:45

      Leann, if they can enforce the laws in the USA why can't we do it here? Have you got any other ideas on how to stop people ABUSING alcohol. And I am not talking about a mother wanting to buy a bottle of wine to drink responsibly at a dinner party. I am taking ABUSE, ABUSE, ABUSE and more ABUSE. BTW have you ever dealt with children who have suffered a constant supply of excessive alcohol to the brain while they were in the womb? We should be showing graphic pictures and videos of these children. The damage CANNOT be repaired.

      TJ - 2012-02-07 12:02

      I have a beautiful and handsome foster child who has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. I see every day what this has done to him and how this will effect him around for the rest of his life. SA has the highest rate of FAS worldwide by far and yet it has the least support structures for these kids and also the least amount of awareness, never mind laws protecting these innocent babies. I agree that this law is difficult to enforce. Can anyone else come up with a better idea. I would really love to hear it. FAS is a bigger problem and more disctructive then even HIV/Aids. It is also the only form of brain damage that is 100% preventable. It is also, please note, 100% incurable. All comments coming through should be on how to save these kids, not critisizing. At least someone is trying to make a difference. Be the solution, not the problem. This is your and my futures. I received a wonderful quote this morning via email: The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people.

      philip.venter1 - 2012-05-30 15:11

      This law won't solve anything. Our police can't and won't enforce it. The real solution is simple, it's the same solution to all the problems we as a country face: EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION!!! Once our citizens start receiving that, most of our problems will slowly fade away. The ANC unfortunately won't allow this because they know it will mean the end of their reign.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-02-06 21:33

    Alcohol, in my opinion, is worse than smoking..yet they tackled getting rid of smoking first by bringing in many laws which thankfully has almost deleted the puffers. Alcohol, must also have many legislation rulings brought in to get rid of drinkers, especially pregant women..so bad for unborns. I'v always believed drinking kills more people than smoking..a drunk can in a single accident wipe out 20~30 people in one headon, and wipeout babies,it causes abuse of women and children as well as has serious side effects to health...roll on the anti boose campaign.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-02-06 21:42

    I don't think the men are going to support this anti boose, most men enjoy their weekend binge on alcohol..I know there are those that don't drink...good..but really drinking and driving don't go together...don't know how a father gets drunk then will drive his family home......WOW..WOW.

      planetdonovan - 2012-02-06 21:46

      the consumption of alcohol in general and drinking and driving are 2 separate issues. we already have sufficient laws to deal with drinking and driving, the problem is lack of enforcement.

      Louis - 2012-02-07 00:03

      Men may complain but like the smokers, they will soon learn that it is anti-social to get drunk in public, often in front of hungry and abused/tolerated/begrudged children. There is a misconception that men are the only abusers of alcohol, genetics balances that out. Just force through the law as it stands, implement it immediately, and then solve the imagined problems as they arise. Business is tougher than you think, they will adapt and get management to regulate in line with the broad intentions of very necessary regulation, we need sane children and future leaders, not footloose bums looking for an easy way out.

      Adrian - 2012-02-07 03:33

      Alcohol abuse is behind most road deaths as well as other deaths, murder and mayhem. It has been found to be impossible to stop it, even in all the civilised countries. In Africa, politicians themselves can't live without their Johnny Walker Blue label will ensure no enforcement will ever take place. Liquor laws will be messed up purposely just like the Firearms laws are, to protect themselves.

  • Louis - 2012-02-07 00:15

    In answer to Donovan, the sellers of alcohol cannot have a free run and sell as much as they like, hype it up, tell kids and immature adults that it is "Cool" or "Sophisticated" to drink and brag about it in public, and then say..."the cops must do their job and catch the culprits", do you really want to have that many cops about, SAB alone bottles and sells in SA many millions of litres a month, each litre lethal enough to kill many. If the sellers are forced to do some responsible selling and control, we will be far better off.

      nspaynter - 2012-02-07 11:07

      Read my comment February 7, 2012 at 10:58. I called the SAPS but they couldn't do anything because neither parent was prepared to lay charges. And they see this kind of thing hundreds and thousands of times. Sies! I have sent an email to SAB but they haven't even bothered to reply. Sies!

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-02-07 07:56

    Lets mention here not only the damages of drinking....but how about the cost,which many households go hungry because they have a drinker in the family.. yes, this applies to both men and women. So like they riased taxes on a packet of smokes to the point many smokers had to realise it was costing them R1000+ a month, when their common sense kicked in they saw that that could buy a lot of food rather than burn it away. The same must be done with alcohol, make it so exspensive the average man will think twice.

  • joebruwer - 2012-02-07 09:10

    SWAK SWAK SWAK. Wat gaan volgende gebeur..... mense ouer as 45 mag nie siggies koop nie.. WTF

  • nspaynter - 2012-02-07 10:57

    "Most industry bodies were concerned with one of the clauses that forbade licensees from selling alcohol to minors, a person dressed in a school uniform, a person who reasonably appears to be intoxicated or a pregnant woman." In the USA the age for purchasing alcohol is 21 and you HAVE to produce proof of age when requested. What is the problem in South Africa?

      Jacqui - 2012-02-07 11:55

      Yes, and the under 21's hang around outside offering to pay adults to get them a six pack. Drug abusers make quite a few dollars this way. The U.S. law is fine, but it doesn't work.

      nspaynter - 2012-02-07 18:29

      Jacqui, the point is that in the USA no liquor dealer will sell to a young person. Here in SA our age is much lower at 18, yet our liquor dealers have no problems selling liquor to young teenagers, some a good deal younger than 18. And they never ask for proof of age. I have traveled on Amtrak a few times. And they sell beers at the cafe on the train. A youngster came and sat next to a women in our couch. He was already drunk. He persuaded her to go and buy a beer for him. I was at the shop at the time and she was asked for proof of age! As she didn't have her ID on her the shop keeper refused, she went back without the beer. Soon afterwards somebody reported the boy and the conductor put him off at the next station. No argument.

  • nspaynter - 2012-02-07 10:58

    We have a SERIOUS alcohol abuse problem in SA. I see it almost every day where I live. The worst was a few days ago parents were fighting and they were bleeding from stab wounds. Their young son was hiding under a bush shivering with fright. THAT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! We have graphic scenes of dehorned dead rhinos displayed all over the media. Why can't we have the same of alcohol abuse? Let me say that I have NO PROBLEM with responsible drinking. I occasionally enjoy an ice cold beer on a hot day or a glass of wine with a good meal out - but I NEVER go beyond one glass.

  • nspaynter - 2012-02-07 11:14

    A suggestion, especially to state hospitals and clinics. When pregnant women come in for their check-ups, check their blood for alcohol. If their alcohol level is high and talking to them isn't helping, make them take anti booze tablets, or put them into an institute for the protection of the unborn child.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-02-07 14:15

    nspaynter.. getting the State hospital to test pregnant Mom's blood good idea...... but state hospitals?... haven't you just read that they have just closed down 30 laboratories...what an absolute disgrace.

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