Draft bill to hike booze age to 21 open for public comment

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has outlined the tighter measures proposed for the Liquor and National Gambling Amendment bills.

During a briefing in Parliament, Davies detailed government’s proposed changes, on which South Africans have 45 days to comment.

Proposals include raising the legal alcohol consumption age from 18 to 21 and a crackdown on liquor advertising, especially those targeting young people.

Davies highlighted the apparent, and increasing, problem that the country has with alcohol abuse, reports EWN's Giovanna Gerbi.

He says five billion litres of alcohol are consumed annually, which is higher than the global average.

The new amendment bill also plans to introduce civil liability to manufacturers and suppliers, particularly those supplying liquor to illegal outlets.

It's going to mean that if a supplier has sold alcohol to an illegal watering hole, they can be liable if there is an accident after that.

Giovanna Gerbi, EWN reporter

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Richard Calland):

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