Today's Big Stories

State proposes 21 as the legal age to drink alcohol

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced a number of amendments to the Liquor Act in Parliament on Monday.

The biggest change is raising of the legal age for drinking alcohol from 18 to 21 years of age which is already law for countries such as the USA.

The draft legislation is available for public comments and SA citizens have 45 days to comment on it.

Maurice Smithers, National Coordinator for the South African chapter of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance says it is a good initiative but it is not a magic wand that is going to solve our problems.

He says people needs to be educated around the use of alcohol and have better enforcement by the police as well as liquor authorities.

According to Smithers the amount of advertising on liquor should be decreased or be banned completely.

He says we need to ask ourselves why are children tempted to drink alcohol at a young age. Advertising puts pressure on people to start drinking, he says.

What is it that makes our kids think that drinking is something that they automatically and necessarily have to do?

Maurice Smithers, National Coordinator for the South African chapter of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

Listen to the full conversation below:

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