Free Market Foundation: Changes to liquor policy ‘ill-conceived’

There is a proposed bill that no new liquor licenses be issued to businesses operating near public transport facilities.

Beer. Picture Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The Free Market Foundation warns that proposed amendments to the National Liquor Policy could have devastating effects for many shopping malls.

The organisation wants people to sign a petition opposing the Department of Trade and Industry’s draft Liquor Amendment Bill which closed for public comment last week.

In addition to prohibiting the sale of alcohol to those under 21, the Bill proposes that no new liquor licenses be issued to businesses operating near public transport facilities.

The foundation’s director Leon Louw believes the mooted law is ill-conceived.

“The V&A Waterfront is a harbour, it’s a transport facility. In other words, that means no liquor license in the entire waterfront, no liquor license in Sandton because the Gautrain is there, and no liquor license near a taxi rank.”

Louw says it could have be done better.

“What you should say is that liquor licensing must be near public a transport facility so that people that have been drinking can get safe transport. To say that you want to have liquor license far from public transport shows you that people haven’t thought about it.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)