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New liquor Act on the cards

INSET: Peggy Serame

The Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) is currently consulting stakeholders on the review of the Liquor Act which was last reviewed in 2003.

The consultation process is expected to be completed in June this year according to Minister Peggy Serame when addressing the media on Wednesday this week.

Once the consultation is complete, Serame said the Ministry will then move to engage lawyers to draft a law on the new Act.

Speaking during the media briefing, Assistant Minister of Trade, Molebatsi Molebatsi, said one of the concerns raised during their consultations is the issue of proximity of liquor outlets to major highways, schools and churches.

Currently, the requirements stipulate that a liquor outlet should be at least 500 metres from these areas.

“We have been inundated with requests for this law to be reviewed,” said Molebatsi, adding that one of the proposals put forward is to do away with the law with exception of proximity to schools.

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Some of the proposals being looked at are to increase the accessibility of liquor through licensing more outlets and allow retail stores and filling stations to sell liquor.

Also, in a bid to address the issue of noise emanating from liquor outlets such as bars and nightclubs, Molebatsi said the ministry wants to make it a requirement for these outlets to be soundproof.

Meanwhile, Serame said while the Ministry is seriously looking at these proposals, it does not necessarily mean that all of them will make it into law once the process is complete.

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