Terms of Reference for alcohol trading times implementation in the Western Cape

The issue of alcohol-related harms (AHR) has become a prioritised issue on the global, national and provincial agenda for developmental, social and economic imperatives.

It has implications for development goals, broad health, death and disability, crime and violence as a driver of interpersonal violence and GBV, motor vehicle crashes, child stunting, liver cirrhosis, suicide, drowning, and economic harm.

The Western Cape Government (WCG) has therefore prioritised AHR in the previous and current terms of government as a critical lever to improve well-being and safety, and reduce the impact on the economy in support of the Provincial Strategic Plan and the Recovery Plan. The province developed an AHR White Paper in 2017 to this end.

The DG Murray Trust (the Trust), as part of its ongoing public strategic mission to be a public innovator and to develop the potential of South Africa, discussed areas of work that related to AHR both nationally and provincially.

The Trust engages in strategic partnerships with the South African government (at both national and provincial levels) to maximise the impact of its projects. Further, the trust allows for the availability of the knowledge and expertise gained from the projects to be considered in policy and programme decisions.

The Trusts intention is to create researched evidence necessary to advocate for AHR policies, regulations and programmatic practices in South Africa.

Trading times

Regulating alcohol through density and trading times is one of the WHO five ‘best-buys’.

At present, trading hours and days vary across South Africa in certain provinces, , with applications for extension of hours resulting in differentiated operating hours despite similar categories of outlet types in similar areas.

Data indicates that weekends and evenings are notable high-risk periods in the Western Cape and across the country.

Evidence and reviews have found that reducing hours and days of trade reduces the consumption of alcohol and leads to reduced alcohol-related harms, including reduced underage drinking, traffic fatalities, violence, and child abuse and neglect.

International and domestic evidence, including recent COVID-19 research nationally, supports reducing trading hours as being an effective and cost-effective intervention.

The Trust has conducted preliminary research on all the 5 best-buys. A gap in research has been identified in assessing the impact of the Trading Times intervention in the South African and WC Provincial contexts.

ToR guidelines for an impact assessment

The project objective is to provide an evidence-base that will facilitate informed decision making on the selection and implementation of the Trading Times intervention, along with an assessment of differing times and their impact, as a mechanism to reduce alcohol-related harms. The project is divided into two phases:

  1. Phase 1: Research the implementation experience of countries who have implemented the trading time restrictions (including budgets, planning, implementation details, M&E, challenges and successful mitigation steps).
  2. Phase 2: Provide projections, using economic modelling and incorporating international research and experience, on how trading time regulations, of alcohol in (i) South Africa and (ii) the Western Cape with closing hour settings at 12 midnight, 1 am and 2 am would impact over an identified period on:
    1. Consumption and reducing alcohol-related health and social harms (HIV, IPV, road injury, and others) and
    2. Costs (individual spend, excise tax and VAT, retail revenue, hospital and crime costs, and impact on the economy).

The service provider has already been appointed for phase 1.


Individuals and organisations responding to this request for proposal for phase 2 should submit a bid detailing the following:

  • An approach or methodology regarding how the project will be conducted.
  • A project plan to include timelines, deliverables and a detailed all-inclusive budget.
  • Proposed team members, together with a summary of key experience and qualifications relevant to this study. The team has to include public health experts with a history of work on alcohol-related harms reduction.

Interested parties should:

  • Submit a proposal by no later than 24 October 2022, 17h00 to Ms Onesisa Mtwa via email (

Project duration

The first phase of the project has commenced. The second phase of the project is expected to commence from 1 December 2022. The project duration will be over a period of 4 months.


The service provider is expected to achieve all deliverables, with all components of the project, finalised by 31 March 2023.

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