Lobby group calls for legal drinking age to remain at 18

The Department of Trade and Industry is proposing raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Free Market Foundation wants people to sign their petition to keep the legal drinking age where it is.

The Department of Trade and Industry is proposing raising the legal drinking age to 21 and legislating that liquor outlets be situated more than 500m from schools, religious institutions and rehabilitation centres.

The foundation’s director Leon Louw says that raising the drinking age is not logical.

“It’s a completely irrational idea. For example is said that it is to reduce the number of road accidents, the amount of liquor related violence or liquor abuse. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it has that effect.”

Louw says other aspects of the bill could exclude legitimate township business people from trade opportunities.

“Under it, nobody in a historically black area would be able to have a liquor license because it says no liquor license may be issued in an area that is not designed for liquor trading. Firstly, there is no such area.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)