Comment period extended for new SA booze bill

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has again extended the deadline for submission of written public comments on the National Liquor Amendment Bill to later this month.

In a statement on Sunday, dti Minister Rob Davies said the extension to 15 December 2016 is the result of constructive consultative sessions that the department had with the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and the South African Liquor Brandowners Association.

“The department also hosted a National Liquor Indaba in Gauteng last month where it was apparent that affected stakeholders and associations need more time in order to provide valuable inputs on the Bill. We are happy that the extension will afford all of the stakeholders and members of the public at large more time to share their ideas and proposals with us on the Bill,” said Minister Davies.

The Bill was published on 30 September 2016 for broader public consultation where interested parties are required to submit written comments within 30 calendar days from the date of publication.

The closing date for the submission of comments was extended to 15 November 2016 and again to 30 November 2016.

In September, Cabinet announced that it has approved the publication of the bill which seeks to address the socio economic impact of liquor, the slow pace of transformation, standardisation of key aspects of regulation and improved regulatory collaboration.

The bill also addresses the eradication of manufacturing and trading of illegal and illicit alcohol, as well as challenges regarding regulatory capacity within the National Liquor Authority.

The dti has been hosting consultative sessions for oral public submissions and comments throughout the country since October as part of the national roadshow aimed at soliciting inputs on the Bill from members of the public.

The roadshows will now move to the Lephalale, Moletjie, Mokopane and Musina areas in the Limpopo province.

The Select Committee on Trade and International Relations last week unanimously supported the Liquor Policy. Chairperson Eddie Makue said there was unanimity across all political party lines that indeed the policy is important and will contribute towards responsible drinking.

“We need to look at the detrimental impact alcohol has on our society and give consideration to raising the sin tax such that it becomes a deterrent to the abuse of alcohol, especially by young people,” said Makue.

Read: SA government moves to raise the legal drinking age to 21

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Comment period extended for new SA booze bill