New stringent fines for selling to minors

Elijar Mushiana

Elijar Mushiana

Health Minister Manto Tshaba-lala-Msimang was in Polokwane on Saturday during the World No Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs campaign at Westernburg Stadium.

She and and Limpopo MEC for health and social development Seaparo Sekoati walked 1,5km with a group of children to promote regular physical activity, good eating habits and to discourage tobacco, alcohol abuse and unsafe sexual practices.

Tshabalala-Msimang also warned shebeen operators not to sell liquor and cigarettes to under-age children.

She advised the children to refrain from taking alcohol and drugs because they were the future leaders of the country.

The government has implemented a number of new procedures to discourage smoking by promoting smoking-free places.

"Those not adhering to our regulations will be prosecuted as we have submitted the Tobacco Products Amendment Bill to parliament.

"We will also strengthen tobacco control and significantly increase the fines for violation of our regulations.

"The bill is currently with the National Council of Provinces, and once approved, it will go to the president for endorsement before it becomes law," Tshabalala-Msimang said.

She said the bill also increased the age restriction for the sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 years.

Owners of public places who fail to ensure that there is no smoking in a smoke-free area will be liable to a fine of between R200 and R20000.

A fine for selling tobacco products to a minor and failure to comply with the regulations on vending machines has been increased from R10000 to a maximum of R100000.

For advertising and giving away free cigarettes the fine has been increased from R200 000 to R1 million.

Once the tobacco bill becomes law, a person found guily of selling liquor to a person under the age of 18 years will be fined a maximum of R100000 or five years' imprisonment.