Enjoying a cigarette with an alcoholic beverage is a common social activity for many people but the Health Department wants to make it a lot tougher for smokers, especially in bars, pubs, taverns or shebeens.
The South African government is proposing a new law that will ban smoking in all public areas, including your favourite drinking hole.
Patrons are currently able to smoke in allocated indoor and outside areas, but the new law will see an outright ban. Any smoking taking place within 10 meters of a doorway will also be considered an offense if the law is passed.
Among the first people to oppose the proposed laws have been tavern owners, saying government’s proposed law is being pushed through the legislative process without much regard for how it affects their business. They are calling for more consultation with government, and say they hope the proposed legislation won't be pushed through before they've had a chance to discuss the issue.
Whichever way you look at it, the tourism industry will no doubt suffer as a result of these proposed laws, which when combined with the regulation of hours establishments are allowed to legally sell alcohol, will cost South Africa millions of Rands in revenue each year.