New Laws to Curb Alcohol Abuse

DURBAN – After the sale of alcohol was allowed in level 3 of the national lockdown which has resulted in a spike in crime and accidents. The national government is looking at new regulations to curb alcohol abuse in South Africa.

Some of the measures considered are the banning of alcohol advertisements, increasing the price of alcohol as well as reducing the legal drinking limit for drinking. The new drinking and driving draft law would decrease the legal drinking limit to zero which could be in effect from the end of the year.

In a statement issued by the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), UCT School of Public Health, the Western Cape Liquor Authority and the DG Murray Trust, to government: “While social drinkers may feel that price increases and other restrictions are unfair on them, it is time to face up to what unfair really means for women and children. We reiterate the president’s view that if we don’t act, we are all complicit in these crimes.”

During a session of Parliament held on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa contemplated whether alcohol should be banned until level 1 of the national lockdown. “As we move on, we need to save lives and livelihoods as well. Could we have banned alcohol forever? Many would say you could not. When would the right time have been to open it up? Is Level 3 the correct time, or should it be Level 1? That is a matter that’s still open for debate. We should try and restrict as much as we can. The virus is going to be with us for a long time. We need to adjust the risk, analyse the risk and arrive at an outcome to move forward. We cannot remain locked up forever and a day. Of course, the cigarette ban was imposed after discussions with many stakeholders. It is now in the hands of the court.”

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