A ban on liquor advertising would strip broadcasters of a considerable source of revenue and probably dent the struggling South African economy, but would do little to combat alcohol abuse, experts say. As part of its efforts to curb the misuse of alcohol, the government is considering the Liquor Amendment Bill, which could result in a ban on alcohol advertisements on television and radio between 6am and 10pm. The bill also includes a proposal to lift the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) argues that the intervention is necessary since SA is among the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world, while foetal alcohol syndrome rates are the highest globally. The state spends nearly R4bn a year on tackling problems related to alcohol abuse, and according to the DTI’s submissions, studies show that raising the consumption age could be an effective tool to combat this. However, if they go ahead, the advertising regulations would take a bite out of...

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