Streamlined Liquor Law

A Need for Streamlined Regulations for Liquor Industry

A man enjoying a beer in Alexandra township.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says a robust policy framework which will be streamlined in all spheres of government is vital to sustaining and growing South Africa’s liquor industry.

The liquor industry was estimated to have contributed R93.2 billion to the South African economy in 2009/10 which was at 3.9% of 2009 Gross Domestic Products.

Chief Director of the National Liquor Authority (NLA) at the DTI, Thezi Mabuza, was speaking recently at a Liquor Regulators Conference in Limpopo. The conference was attended by representatives from the liquor authorities, policy makers, municipalities, research institutions, law enforcement agencies and other national government departments.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says a robust policy framework which will be streamlined in all spheres of government is vital to sustaining and growing South Africa’s liquor industry.

The objectives of the conference amongst others were to share knowledge and best practices on liquor regulation, understand the roles of different departments in liquor regulations and develop an ideal model for the synchronisation of liquor regulation to ease regulatory burden.

Mabuza said the country’s liquor industry had not changed in the past 10 years in relation to capital and ownership. The informal sector was still occupied by historically disadvantaged individuals.

The DTI administers the Liquor Act No.59 of 2003 through the NLA, a national entity within the department.

“We need to develop a cooperative and integrated regulatory framework that promotes a sustainable and responsible liquor industry that will contribute positively and in a matured manner to those issues we all need solutions to,” said Mabuza. Ben Mdebuka, from the South African Liquor Traders Association said regulation and licensing procedure should be streamlined in such a way that authorities speak with one voice.

“Legislation needs to strike a balance between the needs of players in the industry to ensure that there is healthy competition. Self-regulation must be promoted by the act to promote development and responsible trading,” Mdebuka said.