Western Cape Alcohol Related Harms Reduction Policy – September 2016 Brief Summary

Western Cape Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Policy

The contents of the policy has been determined by the premise that “alcohol-related harms are destroying lives, tearing apart the social fabric and hampering socio-economic development and that there is a lack of integrated, sustained support for effective interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms”.

“The policy seeks to be applied in an economic context that does not unreasonably negatively impact on the existing contribution to the GDP or limit prospective employment opportunities (particularly unskilled and semi-skilled) in the alcohol sector. It does not aim to apply limitations to opportunities within the export market or apply unnecessary red tape that will impact on private-sector investment. The challenge for government is to develop mechanisms to disincentivise local consumption, especially in respect of the cheaper products and more harmful drinking patterns and to recover through tax, excise, licensing and levies, a greater contribution from the industry to address the burden it places on state-funded health and social welfare systems”.

Once public comments have been considered on the draft Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Green Paper, a White Paper will be published. The White Paper will ultimately result in amendments to liquor legislation. The Western Cape will in all probability end up with a Liquor Policy and a significantly amended provincial liquor Act and Regulation.

Anyone wishing to comment on the Western Cape Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Policy may do so in writing addressed to –

Ms Vicki-Lee Erfort

Email address – alcohol.greenpaper@westerncape.gov.za

Phone number: 021 4386287

A broad outline of the contents of the Policy

The comments underlined in each chapter are those likely to have an indirect or direct (negative and or positive) impact on your liquor licenced member establishments located in the Western Cape. For further clarity, each of the proposals listed below should be read in conjunction with the corresponding comments set out in the actual policy document.

Page 3                         Content

Pages 4 to 6                Executive Summary

Page 7 and 8               List of Acronyms

Page 9                         Introduction

Pages 10 to 16            Background

Pages 17 to 19            The need for an alcohol-related harms reduction approach in the Western Cape

Pages 20 to 21            Principles, approach and policy context and the Purpose and goals of the policy

Pages 22 to 71            Chapters 1 to 9


Chapter 1: Pricing and the Economy.

This section considers, amongst others, the following options –

  • The lobbying for a national ban on alcohol advertising that is visible to any persons under the age of 18.
  • In the event that this is not achieved, then look to prohibit advertising, marketing and promotion of alcohol products and companies at all public facilities and events organised by the WCG
  • Restrictions on sports liquor advertising and promotion
  • An overall restriction of televised alcohol advertising
  • Support the National Department of Health to stringently regulate alcohol advertising.
  • Support the application of national levies on marketing and promotional spend
  • The reduction of the availability of alcohol by regulating the density of outlets
  • Uniform trading days and hours with possible variations in residential areas for example
  • Reducing the trading hours for on and off-consumption outlets
  • Lobbying national government to increase the price of alcohol through excise tax or minimum unit pricing
  • Lobby national government to incentivise the reduction of the ethanol content in alcohol beverages
  • Lobby national government to implement a tracking system of liquor products
  • Lobby for increasing enforcement of under-age drinking regulations


Chapter 2: Unlicensed liquor outlets and the illicit liquor trade

This section considers, amongst others, the following options –

  • Bringing responsible unlicensed liquor outlets into the regulated space
  • The application process for liquor licences be simplified and streamlined
  • Identifying mechanisms and criteria that will enable the rezoning of outlets for liquor sales in appropriate residential areas
  • Interventions targeting suppliers to the unlicensed liquor industry and the illicit liquor trade
  • Provide scientific studies and evidence to the justice system in order to prioritise liquor law transgressions and the process for tougher sanctions
  • Liquor enforcement units to be capacitated and strengthened


Chapter 3: Enforcement

This section considers, amongst others, the following options –

  • That all spheres of government should contribute to the clamp-down
  • Reducing unlicensed liquor outlets and focusing on problematic outlets
  • Information from community based-organisations should be leveraged
  • Enforcement opportunities from municipal zoning schemes should be leveraged
  • Implementing innovative strategies such as the “last drinks survey”
  • Promoting involvement of communities
  • Lobbying for well-prepared police dockets
  • Addressing fragmented liquor legislation and strengthening unity
  • Increasing the number of trained liquor law enforcement officers
  • Hours of work of enforcement officials brought in line with operational requirements
  • Establishing one overarching liquor enforcement centre
  • Ensure on-site licence holders and managers undergo training and pass a test on the Western Cape Liquor Act and on the rights and obligations of license holders
  • Simplifying the process to prove alcohol-related offences while increasing the sanctions
  • Legislating for sentencing in line with the seriousness of the harm
  • Mobile testing for breath and or blood by an approved legally admissible device
  • Chief Magistrates to identify one court in the district to deal with liquor related matters


Chapter 4: Alcohol and the Road Environment

This section acknowledges the consistent high prevalence of alcohol in road traffic fatalities and, amongst others, proposes –

  • Placing liquor licensing restrictions in areas with a high prevalence of alcohol related road trauma
  • Imposing restrictions on the sale of alcohol on premises that are on national or provincial roads
  • Lobbying national government to implement a graduated alcohol limit for drivers
  • Zero tolerance for young or novice drivers
  • Legislation placing alcohol-related limits for pedestrians on certain roads between certain hours
  • The introduction of alcohol interlocks
  • Strengthening random breath testing


Chapter 5: Health and social services

This section promotes a whole-of-society approach in the provision of services with a focus on the individual in the context of their families and communities and proposes, amongst others –

  • Equitably distributed emergency medical services for alcohol-related conditions,
  • Strengthening prevention, early and aftercare evidence-based intervention, detoxification and treatment
  • Providing programmes for screening, the provision of information and brief motivational interventions
  • Providing interventions at antenatal clinics
  • Establishing early screening and referral services at schools and other institutions of learning
  • Effective referral system to services provided by the DoH, DSD, other departments and NPOs
  • Outpatient care for clients on treatment and rehabilitation services


Chapter 6: Community-based action

This section aims to build on the existing strengths and resources of the community and facilitate partnership and capacity building throughout the process and provides, amongst others, that –

  • The community based model for substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation should be expanded.
  • The capacity of municipalities should be strengthened and institutionalized
  • The AHR community-based action projects be progressively rolled out to other areas
  • Leverage neighbourhood watch structures


Chapter 7: Education and awareness

This section supports a whole-of-society, multi-sectoral approach to education and awareness and the proposals, amongst others, include –

  • Prioritising the Provincial Substance Abuse Forum and the Local Drug Action Committee as platforms for integration, referral pathways and reciprocal communication
  • Continue and strengthen the Western Cape Education Departments education and awareness interventions
  • Norms and standards developed for school-based prevention programmes
  • Leveraging the after-school space for education and awareness targeted at the youth
  • Lobby for education and awareness at the post-school education level
  • Promoting and strengthening education and awareness programmes to stakeholders
  • Improving the reach and ease of access to education and awareness material
  • Expand and strategically direct addiction care education courses
  • Continuation of education programmes on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


Chapter 8: Information, data collection, monitoring and evaluation

This section sets out the need for an efficient and co-ordinated collection, management, analysis system and the sharing of alcohol-related information and data and considers, amongst others –

  • Lobby national government for a national, provincial and local Government structure to collect information and data
  • A national strategy, grounded on baseline data, to set target indicators for harm reduction
  • A purpose-built monitoring-and surveillance system
  • Interventions to reduce harm and monitor and evaluate the implementation of interventions


Chapter 9: Institutional arrangements

This section recognises the role played by institutions in supporting and implementing the Western Cape Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Policy. The policy, amongst others, considers –

  • The selection of an efficient and effective institutional structure form from four proposed models being current, hybrid, commission and in-house
  • Shifting the administrative burden and cost of liquor licence applications to the applicant
  • Qualification requirements for the on-site manager
  • That the applicant obtain prior approval from the municipality that the activity can be carried out on the premises pertaining to the application
  • Where alcohol-related harms are higher than the norm, no new liquor licenses should be approved in that municipal ward
  • A relationship between liquor licensing, trading hours, lighting and pedestrian infrastructure be introduced
  • Updating licence categories and amendments to current categories of licences
  • Proposes fee structures based on actual processing cost
  • Proposes renewal fees based on volume category to provide additional resources



Pages 72 to 75            Conclusion
Page 76 to 83              Bibliography
Page 84                       Annexure 1: Selected detailed indicators and data requirements
Page 85                       Annexure 2: Information from local, liquor and SAPS authorities



Peter Cumberlege

Hospitality Management Services

FEDHASA Legislative Consultant


Performance based operational consulting to the accommodation industry

Co-author of:  Legal requirements for the Hospitality Industry & Legal issues for SA Entrepreneurs

Email: info@statsonline.co.za




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