Liquor Bill Approved for Public Consultation

gallery1Pretoria – Cabinet has approved the publication of the National Liquor Amendment Bill of 2016 for wider public consultation, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said on Thursday.

Briefing media following Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting, Minister Radebe said the bill amends the National Liquor Act of 2003.

“This was approved together with the final National Liquor Policy which addresses challenges hampering the effectiveness of the Act and facilitated the drafting of the bill,” he told reporters.

The bill addresses 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 intervention also focuses on reducing socio-economic harms and other costs of liquor abuse, restructuring the liquor industry and enhancing cooperation between all spheres of government.

Minister Radebe added that it is aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP) priorities of ensuring effective governance, social protection and employment creation.

“It will among others prevent illegal trading, enhance education and awareness programmes and assist in enhanced programmes on rehabilitating those who are addicted,” explained Minister Radebe.

National Gambling Amendment Bill

Cabinet also approved the draft National Gambling Amendment Bill for wider public comment. The bill addresses issues hampering the effectiveness of the National Gambling Act of 2004.

The bill aims to ensure that cooperative governance and oversight functions are improved and that regulatory certainty and negative effects of gambling are drastically reduced.

“It will focus on enhancing existing gambling activities and no new gambling activities will be introduced. The bill will ensure that vulnerable groups such as minors and problem gamblers are protected and will be able to access assistance from organisations such as the National Gambling Regulator,” Minister Radebe told media.

The bill is aligned with priorities of the NDP with a view to ensure effective governance, social protection, employment creation, recreation and leisure. –