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Licensed establishments must ensure no booze is sold to under 18s, say police

Published Jul 7, 2022

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DURBAN – The South African Police Service (SAPS) issued a warning yesterday to all licensed establishments that alcohol may not be sold or served to any person under the age of 18 years.

This comes after the death of 21 young people, who died under mysterious circumstances, at Enyobeni tavern in Eastern London more than a week ago.

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The Mercury reported that the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority (KZNLA) had vowed to impose heavy penalties on liquor traders who violated their licence conditions in light of the mass tragedy.

The KZNLA said it had strengthened its relationship with the Provincial Prosecuting Authority in an attempt to ensure that all cases in respect of the KZN Liquor Licensing Act were prosecuted.

SAPS said the law was clear that alcohol should not be sold or served to anyone under-age.

“Owners of establishments that are permitted to sell alcohol have to ensure that anyone they sell alcohol to is over 18 by asking for IDs.”

The statement said provincial and national liquor authorities had to increase enforcement by monitoring registered outlets and closing down unregistered ones.

“Municipal authorities and local law-enforcement officials must heed the calls and complaints from communities, and not ignore or not take them seriously.”

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SAPS said ward councillors must be more visible in the communities and take up the issues concerning the public with the city and other authorities

The police said the Department of Social Development ran a number of programmes across the country to support families, build life skills among adolescents and to support young people at risk.

“RISIHA is a community-based child protection programme to assist vulnerable children, orphans and child-headed households.”

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For any help with substance or alcohol abuse, contact the Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Helpline on 0800 12 13 14 or SADAG on 0800 567 567.

THE MERCURY

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