Today's Big Stories

Teacher union slams draft bill to sell booze at WC schools

Teachers' union Naptosa has strongly criticised a draft bill that could see the legal sale of alcohol to adults at school functions in the province.

The proposed amendments to the Western Cape Provincial Education Act are part of a bid to boost fundraising efforts at local schools, but the teachers' union says the amendment bill could do more harm than good.

Naptosa's Executive Director Basil Manuel says the proposed legislation may perpetuate the already problematic drinking culture in the Western Cape.

He says the law contradicts the national draft bill which plans to only grant liquor licences to operators whose premises are at least 500m away from schools.

According to Manuel, government cannot guarantee that the sale of liquor on school premises will be well regulated.

The vast majority of schools will not control this properly. Where do you draw the line?

Basil Manuel, Executive Director at Naptosa

Tomorrow it's the school rugby match then the 18 year-old slips it to the 16-year-old that was with him last year. That's how controls are lost.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director at Naptosa

Naptosa argued their case on The John Maytham Show:

Meanwhile, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer says the proposals were motivated by a need to revise the excessive controls of what is deemed "school activity".

The definition of school activity is so broad that it even includes events off the school premises.

Debbie Schäfer, estern Cape Education MEC

Schäfer explains that the amendment is to deal with what is already happening at many school events in any case.

I just felt that it would be far better if we could have it properly regulated in terms of legislation.

Debbie Schäfer, estern Cape Education MEC

She says that schools and governing bodies have the power to decide whether or not they want to implement the sale of liquor.

Schäfer has encouraged public comment at the hearing on the draft bill to establish permissible circumstances and legislative language on the matter.

Listen to Debbie Schäfer defend the draft amendments below:

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