Tighter liquor laws on the way for the Western Cape – Premier Alan Winde
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Cape Town - Citizens of the Western Cape should prepare for tighter liquor laws, following the province’s executive council’s approval of the drafting of amendments to the current Liquor Act, according to Premier Alan Winde.
Though he did not give an exact date when the amendments will be tabled before the legislature and the subsequent public participation, Winde told MPLs that the process of getting the measures to the relevant standing committee should take “a good couple of weeks”.
Winde was responding to a question from ANC finance and economic opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo who wanted to know why there was a hold-up in amending the current Liquor Act, despite numerous promises from the Province and the effect of alcohol during the pandemic.
Nkondlo said: “At one point we were doing well in the battle against alcohol related harms. In 2017 for instance, this provincial government passed a white paper on the issue of alcohol harm reduction.
“I’m concerned about time frames and worried that the goalposts have kept shifting since 2017. Now I want to know, when are we getting a replacement for the current liquor act?
Responding, Winde said the question was pertinent and relevant in the current circumstances of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
“I am happy to say that last Wednesday the executive council actually approved the drafting of the amendments to the current Liquor Act.
“It’s probably going to take a good couple of weeks to get the drafting finalised, and hopefully by the time we’ve seen some decline in those Covid-19 numbers, we’ll be able to bring it to the legislature for public participation.”
In a statement ANC provincial health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel said: “One of the contributing factors to the spread of the pandemic in the Western Cape is the issue of alcohol.
“During the first and second wave we noted a drastic decrease in alcohol-related emergency cases when a curfew and ban on the sale of alcohol were imposed. This reduction freed all resources to the management and control of Covid-19 cases.
“We are not as the ANC suggesting going back to the prohibition days, but we are saying there are clear measures that can be put in place to help combat youth alcoholism and other challenges that we are facing.”