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Proposed liquor bill ‘unfair and unrealistic’, says Nafcoc

| Legislation

The National African Chamber of Commerce (Nafcoc) is prepared to fight the proposed liquor bill in court should the government go ahead and increase the legal minimum drinking age to 21.

The proposed bill is unfair and unrealistic, Nafcoc president Lawrence Mavundla told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Also at the briefing was Free Market Foundation executive director Leon Louw, who also opposed the bill.

Mavundla said Nafcoc was waiting for the revised version of last year’s 20-plus page document to become public so that it could scrutinise it further.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti)‚ which made the proposal‚ is expected to release the new document soon.

The current paper wants alcohol traders to sell 500 metres away from residential areas, and expects buyers and drinkers to be 21-years-old.

"We are currently engaging with various provincial and national government departments and other interest groups to get their buy in. We will look at the document when it becomes available. If dti does not want to budge we will have no choice but to take the matter to court‚" Mavundla said.

Mavundla was behind the successful action by Johannesburg CDB hawkers, who took the council to court for forcibly removing them last year.

Nafcoc said the proposed liquor bill would kill small business in the townships.

TMG Digital

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