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Liquor Products Amendment Bill Sent to NHTL for Comment

March 1, 2021

Parliament

The Liquor Products Amendment Bill has been reclassified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism in parliament as a section 75 bill.

The bill has also been reclassified as a bill falling within the ambit of section 18(1) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.

Section 18(1) deals with the referral of any bills pertaining to customary law or customs of traditional communities to the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) for comments.

Parliament also confirmed that the bill is to be referred to the NHTL.

The NHTL has 30 days to make any comment on the bill.

President Ramaphosa sent the bill back to parliament for reconsideration in June 2020.

The bill was passed by parliament and sent to the president for assent in June 2018.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in October 2017.

The bill was tabled in parliament in July 2016.

The proposed legislation seeks to amend the Liquor Products Act in order to:

• insert certain definitions and to amend and delete others;
• provide for the renaming and reconstitution of the Wine and Spirit Board and to limit its powers;
• provide for requirements regarding beer, traditional African beer and other fermented beverages;
• repeal a provision in respect of the authorisations regarding certain alcoholic products;
• empower the Minister to designate a person to issue export certificates;
• align certain provisions with the constitution;
• extend the ministers power to make regulations;
• provide gender-equal terminology; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to an earlier statement from the presidency, the bill should have been referred to the NHTL as the bill contains a new section on requirements regarding traditional African beer.

“The President’s view is based on the fact that traditional beer is an intrinsic part of a number of cultural practices. Customary practices require that the production and consumption of such beverages be effected in a particular manner.”

The president holds the view that the bill will regulate how traditional beer is produced thereby affecting its production, distribution and consumption.