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Voice your view on amending drinking age

The process of testing the public’s feelings about raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, will soon roll out.

The draft Liquor Amendment Bill, which aims to amend the current drinking age, has been published in the Government Gazette by Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.

People now have until 30 October to voice their opinions on the matter.

According to the department, public hearings with stakeholders will be held in all nine provinces shortly.

The community will be notified about the hearings in the media.

The liquor industry has voiced concerns about certain parts of the Bill, which restricts the selling of liquor in certain areas.

Davies earlier highlighted the need for a robust public engagement on the issues raised in the Bill, as they concern matters with deep significance to South African society.

Davies points out that South Africa currently has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, at 10 to 12%, above the world average of 6%.

“We also the highest incidence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in the world, and 41% of all injuries were sustained in incidents related to alcohol consumption,” he said.

Davies says that the state spends about R3.7 billion per annum on problems related to alcohol abuse.

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