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Liquor manufacturers, distributors and retailers have devised a set of proposals to deal with alcohol abuse, offering it as an alternative to the Department of Trade and Industry’s proposed Liquor Amendment Bill. The draft bill, which has been open for public comment, proposes to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 years, place restrictions on the geographic location of alcohol outlets and make those selling alcohol to inebriated people liable for any damages that might be caused by that person afterwards. Some provincial governments, notably Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are understood to be opposed to the proposals on the grounds that they encroach on provincial competencies to regulate alcohol retailing and undermine their efforts to build township economies. The department is working through the submissions and inputs from 30 public consultative sessions. It will then produce a final bill for submission to the Cabinet and Parliament. In terms of the proposals by...

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