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Western Cape takes a sober look at ways to curb drinking

It's going to be much harder to buy a beer in Cape Town if the Western Cape government has its way. The provincial government is worried about how much alcohol abuse is costing it, saying that the taxpayer was subsidising the alcohol industry.

Western Cape takes a sober look at ways to curb drinking
©kzenon via 123RF
The Western Cape's alcohol harms reduction policy white paper was published last week. It represents the Western Cape's policy position on alcohol, mitigating its harm and informing potential provincial law changes. Western Cape aims to make alcohol more expensive and as hard as possible to buy while increasing enforcement of infractions.

Premier Helen Zille's spokesman Michael Mpofu said the white paper was a policy framework to inform the way the cabinet legislates alcohol and its use. Following the publication, the provincial government will consider which laws to amend.

Here are some of the main proposals:

Consider a provincial tax to increase the cost of alcohol;

Restrict trading hours;

Remove all bottle stores attached to grocery stores within five years;

Reduce the density of alcohol outlets in communities and in areas where there are alcohol-related car accidents;

Lobby government to ensure that drivers under the age of 21 or in their first three years of obtaining a licence may consume no alcohol at all if driving;

Fine outlets that repeatedly serve underage drinkers or breach other laws;

Bring all 3,400 estimated illegal liquor outlets (shebeens) in the province into the regulated market;

Suggest a district court specifically for alcohol offences;

Lobby government to ban alcohol advertising to under-18s;

In the meantime, ensure no Western Cape government venues or events allow or use alcohol advertising;

Compulsory training for people who need a liquor licence such as the managers who run restaurants, bottle stores or clubs; and

Encourage metro police to use legally admissible mobile breathalysers to test alcohol levels at roadblocks.

Source: The Times


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