Minister Adresses Swartland Liquor Forum on Responsible Alcohol Trade
19 July 2013
Statement by Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde
It is important to note that government must strike a balance when drafting regulations around alcohol. Policymakers need to take both the negative and positive economy of the liquor industry into account.
The alcohol sector contributes R24 billion to our Gross Domestic Product each year, employing around 270 000 people. Liquor establishments provide a space for entrepreneurs to forge a living for themselves and create job opportunities for others.
Then there is the negative impact that the irresponsible trade and consumption of liquor has on our communities. South Africa has one of the highest drinking rates in the world and alcohol-related deaths come at a huge cost to the province. These harms are fuelled by unlicensed shebeens, which must either be legalised or shut down.
The new Liquor Act is in place to regulate legal trade, rooting out non-compliant traders. In order to do this successfully we need to educate traders about their responsibilities.
To ensure that all licenced liquor traders are aware of the requirements of the new Liquor Act, the Authority will host training programmes for all of the province’s 8 131 licence holders.
It is my firm hope that educated members of our communities will spread our message, and that they join hands with us to end this scourge. I believe that one of the ways we can do this is by partnering with liquor industries to promote responsible drinking.