National Liquor Authority

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					National Liquor Authority
Information Circular 2 2007

               Children and the Liquor Act 59 of 2003
This circular is intended to alert registrants to the NLA about their responsibilities
concerning minors in the liquor industry and assist them in complying with the conditions
of their registration.

Constitutional protection of minors

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa protects children under 18 from work
that is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for their age, detrimental to
their schooling, or detrimental to their social, physical, mental, spiritual or moral
development.

The term ‘work’ is not restricted to the so-called economic activities (e.g. paid
employment), but includes chores or household activities in the child’s household if
where such work is exploitative, hazardous, inappropriate for their age or detrimental to
their development.

The 1999 Statistics South Africa’s Survey of Activities of Young People estimated that
about 30% of the economic activities of minors contravened the law because it involved
children below the legal age limit. It indicated that seven out of ten of these cases
involved work in family business.

Legal protection of minors

The Liquor Act 59 of 2003 (the Act) defines a minor as a person who has not attained the
age of 18 years. The Act was formulated in accordance with the Constitution and
specifically addresses those issues related to the employment of minors, registration of
minors as manufacturers or distributors, advertising and the provision of liquor to
minors. As a result, liquor providers are obliged to comply with provisions of the
legislation.

Disqualification of minor as manufacturers and distributors of liquor

A minor is not permitted to register as a manufacturer or a distributor of liquor. This
means that a minor cannot apply or be registered as a manufacturer, a distributor or
both. If a minor applies for manufacturing or distribution registration, the application will
be declined as in terms of section 11(2)(a) that states that any person may register as a
manufacturer or a distributor of liquor or both, except a person who is a minor at the
date of submitting an application for registration.

Section 10(6) also states that a minor cannot produce liquor, import liquor or supply
liquor to any other person.

Employment of minors in the liquor industry

The Basic Condition of Employment Act (BCEA) prohibits the employment of persons who
have not attained the age of 16. Liquor Act 59 of 2003 complements BCEA by prohibiting
the employment of minors in the liquor industry. Both Acts regard the contravention of
these provisions as an offence.

However, the Act does allow the employment of people who have not attained the age of
16 provided they are undergoing training or a learnership programme as contemplated in
section 16 of the Skills Development Act, 1998(Act No.97 of 1998).

Advertising and minors in the Liquor Industry

Section 9(1)(a) (ii) states that “a person must not advertise any liquor or methylated
spirits in a manner intended to target or attract minors”. This means that if an
advertisement: in form is deemed to be designed to attract minors; it will be regarded as
an offence under the Act.

The supply of liquor to minors

Section 10 clearly states that:

(1) No person may not sell or supply liquor or methylated spirits to a minor.

(2) The parent, adult guardian of a minor, or a person administering a religious
sacrament, may on occasion supply to that minor a moderate quantity of liquor, but it
should be consumed in the presence and under the supervision of the parent, guardian or
other designated person.

(3) A person must take reasonable measures to determine accurately whether or not a
person is a minor, before selling or supplying liquor or methylated spirits to that person.

(4) A minor may not make a false claim about age to induce a person to sell or supply
liquor or methylated spirits to him or her.

(5) Another person may not make a false claim about the age of a minor to induce a
person to sell or supply liquor or methylated spirits to a minor.

Offences and penalties relating to children in the liquor industry

Below is a summary of offences and penalties applicable in instances where a registrant
of the NLA is found to have contravened the 2003 Liquor Act in relation to minors.

          Offence                                       Penalty
Advertising Restrictions - An             Liable on conviction to a fine not
advertisement intended to target or       exceeding R500 000, or to
attract minors                            imprisonment for a period not
                                          exceeding one year.
Supply of liquor to minors.               Liable on conviction to a fine not
                                          exceeding R1 000 000,or to
                                          imprisonment for a period not
                                          exceeding five years
Employing a person who has not yet        Liable on conviction to a fine not
attained the age of 16 in any activity    exceeding R1 000 000, or to
relating to the manufacture or            imprisonment for a period not
distribution of liquor                    exceeding five years




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