Township opposition to new liquor law

Small business owners in townships have expressed strong opposition to the proposed Liquor Amendment Bill and possible changes to tobacco regulation, saying they are unworkable and will irreparably hamper their business.

This was the conclusion of a survey conducted by the Gauteng Liquor Forum (GLF), the SA Liquor Traders Association (Salta) and the National Tourism Hospitality Association (NTHA) on 155 spaza, tavern, shebeen, restaurant and bottle storeowners operating in townships.

The three organisations, representing 35 000 small businesses, argue that the proposals will lead to the immediate blanket criminalization of small business owners and informal traders in townships.

This was also the view of 95% of those interviewed in the survey.

One Liquor Act amendment proposes to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has indicated meanwhile that he wants a ban on all public outdoor smoking, the abolition of indoor smoking areas, a ban on retail display of cigarettes, the removal of all branding from cigarette packs, and a ban on the sale of alcohol within 500m of a residential area, sports club or stadium, or near public transport.

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