Rob Davies fails to do the numbers on the Liquor Bill - Dean Macpherson

DA MP says socio-economic assessment study has yet to be completed

Davies fails to do the numbers on the Liquor Bill

After months of ducking and diving by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the DA has received confirmation that the socio-economic assessment study on the Draft Liquor Amendment Bill has not been completed, despite Minister Davies’ intention to submit the Bill to Cabinet within the first quarter of 2017.

The DA will therefore write to Minister Davies, in light of these revelations, to demand that a full economic impact study be conducted urgently and that this is released to the public before the Bill is submitted to Cabinet for ratification.

The public has a right to know what this Bill will cost our economy and the impact it will have on job creation and sustainability, especially considering the following proposals contained in the Bill:

According to section 7(1), no liquor licenses are to be issued to petrol service stations; premises near public transport; and areas not classified for entertainment or zoned by municipalities for purposes of trading in liquor;

According to section 7(2), liquor premises are to be located at least 500 meters away from schools, places of worship, recreation facilities, rehabilitation or treatment centres, residential areas and public institutions.

Excluding new licenses within 500 meters of residential areas would be hugely problematic for the restaurant trade. Streets like Long Street in Cape Town, Florida Road in Durban or Vilakazi Street in Soweto could become ghost streets because of these amendments, causing huge harm to the local economy.

It is therefore incredibly irresponsible for Minister Davies to have introduced this Bill without a proper socio-economic assessment study being done.

For far too long, the Department of Trade and Industry and Minister Davies have failed to produce evidence and studies to back up their Bill.

The DA will continue to push for the impact assessment report to be conducted and released to the public so that those who could be affected have the information they deserve.

Statement issued by Dean Macpherson MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, 12 February 2017