Changes to the National Liquor Policy: Have your say

Should the legal drinking age be raised to 21?

Should the legal drinking age be raised to 21?

The deadline for comment on proposed changes to the National Liquor Policy has been extended for the City of Cape Town. The policy, which would see the drinking age raised from 18 to 21, and would hold liquor traders legally responsible for offences committed by their customers if they were served alcohol once already intoxicated, has drawn a wide range of responses.

While alcohol abuse groups and anti-drink driving groups have welcomed the proposed changes, insurance underwriters fear that the legal ramifications in particular would cause chaos in the hospitality sector.

According to a summary by the City’s of Cape Town’s legal team, the key proposed changes include:

  • Introducing uniform trading hours within the norms and standards in national, provincial and municipal legislation
  • Increasing the legal age for the purchasing and consumption of alcohol from 18 to 21 years of age
  • Creating an offence for selling liquor to persons under the age of 18
  • Creating an offence for providing false information relating to age
  • Liquor premises to be located at least 500m from
schools; places of worship; recreation facilities; rehabilitation or treatment centres; residential areas; and public institutions
  • No liquor licences to be issued to petrol stations and premises attached to petrol stations; premises near public transport; and
areas not classified as entertainment or zoned by municipalities trading in liquor.
Places in areas listed above who already have licences should have licences terminated within two years
  • Introduction of BBEEE codes of Good Practice, with non-compliance resulting in suspension or revocation of licences.

Should bar owners be held responsible for their customers’ actions?

If you would like to submit a comment, contact Glynnis Dyers at by no later than 21 July 2015.

Should the drinking age be raised? Should responsibility fall on bar owners if their customers drink and drive? Should the sale of alcohol next to recreation facilities – which presumably includes sports clubs – be banned? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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