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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Alcohol curfew: New ‘Midnight Law’ to impact Limpopo’s nightlife

The 'Midnight Law' set to come into effect in Limpopo on 1 August will limit the operating hours of alcohol outlets to curb societal issues.

The Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism announced the implementation of a new alcohol curfew, dubbed ‘Midnight Law’.

The regulation overhaul is set to come into effect on 1 August 2023, and will tackle social issues ranging from community instability to gender-based violence (GBV).

The law will limit the operating hours of establishments selling liquor. Here’s what you need to know.

Limpopo alcohol curfew

The new law pledges to enforce strict cut-offs for liquor trading hours, ensuring night clubs, taverns, shebeens and restaurants selling alcohol cease operations by midnight.

‘Midnight Law’

MEC Rodgers Monama announced the new law during his address at the Modimolle Victim Support Centre on Nelson Mandela Day.

Monama said the regulation is part of the Limpopo Liquor Act; it will prohibit liquor outlets and nightlife facilities from selling alcohol past midnight.

He said alcohol plays a significant role in perpetuating GBV, child abuse, community instability, trauma incidents, and various sexual offenses.

Unsafe nightlife

The department of economic development, environment and tourism plays a critical role in reducing alcohol abuse, he added.

He said it’s vital to support moderate home drinking as opposed to unsafe nightlife which continues to serve and sell alcohol beyond midnight.

The implementation of the act is part of a larger scheme to deter the youth from being drawn to the lucrative liquor trade and to cleanse the industry of non-compliant operations.

Some backlash from the public is to be expected.

Alcohol curfews during Covid

Backlash aside, The South African Medical Journal published a study demonstrating a connection between alcohol availability and unnatural deaths.

The research focused on restrictions related to the sale of liquor and hours of curfew during the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2021.

The study found that a total ban on liquor sales led to a significant decrease in unnatural deaths, regardless of the duration of the curfew.

Conversely, periods of no or limited restrictions on alcohol resulted in an increase in such deaths.

The research emphasised the possible benefits of implementing evidence-based alcohol control measures.

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