Gauteng to review its booze regulations to curb ‘drinking sprees’ and crime, says David Makhura

22 February 2021 - 07:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Gauteng premier David Makhura says alcohol is one of the most serious sources of crime.
Gauteng premier David Makhura says alcohol is one of the most serious sources of crime.
Image: GCIS via Flickr

Gauteng premier David Makhura says the province is looking at tightening the sale of alcohol regulations beyond the current Covid-19 regulations.

Makhura, who was speaking during the official handover of 55 high-performance vehicles to police at the weekend, said alcohol was one of the contributing factors to crime in the province.

“One of the most serious sources of crime is alcohol,” said Makhura.

“Abuse of alcoholdoes not just fill hospital beds. Many of the crimes in our communities happen in the vicinity of places where people go on drinking sprees.

“Those who sell alcohol do not follow the licence regulations. I want to announce that the Gauteng provincial government will this year review the regulations governing the sale of alcohol, and we want to tighten them.”

He said the review does not mean another booze ban is looming, but it is designed to curb crime.

“Some shebeens selling liquor in our communities are located next to schools and crèches so we want to tighten the regulations around alcohol sales. We are not banning alcohol but we must tighten the regulations outside the situation of Covid-19,” said Makhura.

Makhura’s announcement comes days after Western Cape premier Alan Winde said the province was planning to change its “deadly relationship with alcohol” by amending the liquor act.

He said provincial data showed a causal relationship between alcohol abuse in communities and violence.

However, Winde said banning booze was unsustainable and would increase unemployment that feeds crime in communities.

“That is why we are instead pursuing more targeted interventions by amending the Western Cape liquor act. These amendments will, directly and indirectly, reduce alcohol harms, and improve the efficiency of the Western Cape liquor authority,” said Winde.

He said the first amendments will be presented to the regulatory affect assessment committee, and a formal submission to cabinet will be made by the end of March.

“Our intention remains to have this amendment bill published for public comment in the next few months,” he said.

“In addressing this major problem in our communities, I am also committed to working with the industry and consumers to find new and innovative solutions to reduce alcohol-related harms in the Western Cape.”