Deadline for Comment on Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper Extended
The deadline for comment on the provincial government’s Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Policy Green Paper has been extended to 14 December 2016. Previously members of the public had until 30 November to provide their input.
The draft policy is intended to guide the government’s approach to the regulation of alcohol in the province. The Green Paper is a result of extensive input from a diverse public sector working group, commissioned by the Western Cape Government.
An extension for the deadline for public comment was granted after a request from various organisations and individuals for more time to provide a comprehensive response.
To date, almost 200 written comments have been received. The provincial government has also been part of vigorous consultative engagements with various sectors, including tavern owners, communities and other interested parties.
The latest of these meetings was held yesterday, 28 November, at Khayelitsha’s Lookout Hill. Organised by Mvula Traders Association, the meeting included tavern owners from various communities including Langa, Nyanga, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, among others.
During the meeting, Western Cape Government Deputy Director-General, Dr Laurine Platzky, addressed concerns and questions.
Dr Platzky told the tavern owners that the Green Paper, amongst other things, proposes a pathway to legality for traders currently in the illegal environment.
She also explained the greater emphasis of enforcement around irresponsible trading. Proposals in the Green Paper include:
- Reducing easy access to alcohol (especially underage drinkers), by limiting trading hours or ensuring ID verification at purchase points;
- A focus on the entire value chain – including responsible consumption, responsible production, distribution and trade. This would be achieved through clamping down on illegal distribution channels and outlets, among other things; and
- Support for price increases as a means to impact on binge and youth drinking, especially on payday weekends.
While the engagement with tavern owners was critical, illegal trading is only part of the challenge.
The Green Paper also emphasises the need to prevent licensed businesses from selling to illegal outlets. A major tactic within this illegal distribution chain is the use of wheelie bins – meant for refuse removal – to transport large quantities of alcohol purchased from licensed distributors, for the purpose of reselling at illegal outlets.
To access the full policy Green Paper document visit: http://www.westerncape.gov.za/alcohol-harms or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ms Vicki-Lee Erfort on 021 483 6287.
The gazetted paper is also attached.
Members of the public are encouraged to make use of the deadline extension and provide comment if they have not had the opportunity to do so.