REVIEW OF ALCOHOL LEGISLATION AND DRAFTING OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY PROPOSALS

DGMT is looking to appoint a Consultant to undertake regulatory review and drafting of specific proposals to various government departments and entities responsible for the regulation of liquor in South Africa.  The Consultant must have a legal background, with knowledge of and experience in public regulatory processes.  Knowledge and experience in the health sector and trade & industry sectors will be preferable.

Interested parties are invited to submit a one- or two-page proposal to Sinazo Nkwelo (sinazo@dgmt.co.za) no later than Wednesday 11 November 2020.  The proposal should include a very short bio highlighting relevant experience, resources or networks that will support you to execute against this scope quickly. We are looking for someone who can commit substantial time over the next three to four months, starting soon. Please state your availability. Lastly, kindly include a budget with your daily rates and the number of days’ work.  The number of days may be renegotiated through discussion with the DGMT team to ensure that an optimal outcome is achieved.

BACKGROUND

The combined effect of the lockdown and the alcohol ban had a profound effect on levels of crime and violence in South Africa.  There is renewed political interest in a set of regulatory interventions to reduce the social costs of excessive alcohol consumption. On the 24th of June 2020, DGMT – together with the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Chronic Disease Initiative of the University of Cape Town and the Public Health Association of South Africa – submitted a petition to the President, Speaker of Parliament, Ministers of Health, Social Development and Trade, Industry and Competition, as well as the Premiers and parliaments in all nine provinces. The petition was signed by 166 academics, researchers and community activists, and called for government to:

  1. Place a ban on advertising of alcohol (except on the site of sale, where it should not be visible to those under 18 years).
  2. Increase the price of alcohol, both through excise taxes and by introducing a minimum price per unit of pure alcohol in liquor products.
  3. Reduce the legal limit for drinking and driving to a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or below.
  4. Reduce the availability of alcohol, especially in residential areas (by limiting the density of liquor outlets, shorter trading hours, and ending the sale of alcohol in larger containers like 1 litre bottles of beer).
  5. Intensify the availability of counselling and medically-assisted treatment for persons struggling with dependence.

The Department of Social Development has responded and entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with DGMT to coordinate the national response and to expedite implementation of these measures.  The current status of consideration of the above measures is outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Current status of consideration of 5 Best Buys

In order to further the implementation of these measures, DGMT would like to undertake a crisp regulatory review, and contribute to the drafting of specific legislative and regulatory proposals.  To this end, we would like to appoint a Consultant to undertake the work.

SCOPE OF WORK

Regulatory review

With reference to the WHO five best buys described above, we would like a review of all relevant regulatory documents (including current enacted legislation, draft legislation and pertinent regulations (national and provincial, where relevant), as well as the regulations of national and provincial liquor authorities.  The purpose of this review is to clarify the progress towards regulation and implementation in order to identify the critical steps for advocacy and engagement with the relevant authorities.

The review will also highlight any sticking points and reasons for failure to progress that will need to be addressed.

In addition, the review will also summarise key policy positions that are relevant to alcohol harms reduction, but which have not yet been formulated in draft legislation (e.g. the National Liquor Policy of 2016.  The purpose of this summary is to identify any additional points of leverage/ strategies that are pertinent and which are already part of approved government policy, but have not been actioned.

Summary of relevant international experience

Following the review, the Consultant will summarise the relevant international experience which can make the case for legislative change in South Africa.  Much of this work has already been done by the WHO and by others, but needs to be tailored and presented in an effective manner for South Africa.

A major literature review is not required – rather a careful selection of relevant experience (positive and adverse) that should be considered in legislation and regulation.

Review of relevant South African studies

In addition, the Consultant will review and summarise the key findings of relevant South African studies that relate to the regulatory aspects of each of the five best buys.  Again, the intention is not a comprehensive literature review, but to draw on the work that has already been done here. In this review, the implementation of tobacco-related legislation should also be considered.

These studies include:

  • Studies of the effect of media exposure and alcohol consumption
  • Studies evaluating pricing policies for alcohol and price elasticities
  • Legal review of minimum unit pricing
  • Studies of outlet density

There are not many, and between DGMT and SAMRC we probably have them all (or have commissioned them).  It is a case of synthesis and packaging.

Drafting of specific proposals

In the light of this review, the Consultant will make specific and detailed recommendations that can be taken to the relevant authorities, including National Treasury and other national departments, the Western Cape Government and other provincial governments willing to engage, and the National and Provincial Liquor Authorities.

These recommendations will include specific changes to legislation, and the draft wording of such changes.

TIMEFRAMES

It is anticipated that the review (2.1-2.3) will be concluded by the end of December 2020, and specific recommendations completed by the end of February 2021.