New Liquor Act proposals

2016-12-20 06:01
PHOTO: supplied Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties

PHOTO: supplied Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties

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THE Liquor Amendment Bill Indaba that recently took place in Ekurhuleni proposed amendments to the National Liquor Act, which is now open for public comment, include raising the age of drinking to 21 in South Africa. The Department of Trade and Industry also wants to ban the sale of alcohol in any location less than 500 metres away from schools, and place additional restrictions on alcohol advertising.
Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, said the department's reasons for raising the drinking age is backed up by physiological facts.

"The human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties. The effects of alcohol abuse on the as-yet not fully developed brain are greater than they are in the fully developed human brain," he said.
The Health Department's Chief Director of Non-Communicable Diseases, Melvyn Freeman, said raising the drinking age could save lives and reduce alcohol abuse among the youth.

"Where self and others can be harmed by a product or by an instrument, government needs to take special heed and a public health approach - and in this case it means increasing the age of legal alcohol drinking to 21.”

The Fever reporter asked people what they think about the new proposals.

Siphosethu Mavundla (30) from Clermont: “I think this is a good idea. The government has finally woken up. A lot of youngsters are drowning in alcohol and it is sad to see that many have no future because of drinking too much of alcohol.”

Mandla Madlala (50) from Clermont: “It is unfortunate that the act was only proposed now because a lot of children are already drunkards. I always tell my son that alcohol destroys one’s future, but he doesn’t listen.”

Nomvula Dlamini (25) of KwaDabeka: “I do drink alcohol, but I’m not an alcoholic. Yes, it is good that the government has proposed this act, but I think it will not make any difference because the people who sell alcohol are the ones who sell to underage people. So the government should first tackle the issue of tavern owners, who sell the booze to youngsters.”
Londi Sibalukhulu (32) of Pinetown: “The issue of underage drinking has been going on for a long time. I’m glad the government has announced this sort of act. But adults should also be strict when it comes to giving someone, who is underage, alcohol. This issue goes a long way and needs lots of work.”

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