Today's Big Stories

State to clamp down on retail liquor outlets to combat SA’s drinking problem

According to reports, the proposed Liquor Amendment Bill by the Department of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, could see alcohol sales being banned at malls and airports which are located close to public transport hubs.

The Bill proposes that existing liquor licenses will not be renewed if the proprietor is located within 500 metres of a church, school, university, public recreational area, residential area or government buildings.

The Bill also proposes the official drinking age be raised to 21.

McDonald Netshithenze, Acting Deputy Director General in the Department of Trade and Industry, says there are few people in South Africa who consume alcohol. However, the few that drink alcohol consume too much of it.

He says government finds the statistics very concerning which is why they are applying stricter measures around alcohol.

There is an excessive damage being done whether you go the angle of health - foetal alcohol syndrome - or the issue of car accidents.

McDonald Netshithenze, Acting Deputy Director General in the Dept. of Trade and Industry

Netshithenze says alcohol advertising will become stricter and they will be clamping down on distributors who supply illegal traders.

He says media reports are not entirely truthful in saying sales of alcohol in malls will be banned but says the licensing authorities should use their discretion.

Those that have existing licenses and are located near churches and schools, Netshithenze says they should respect the municipal by-laws on noise and nuisance.

South Africans have up until October 30 to comment on the Bill.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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