New regulations proposed for fast-food and alcohol in South Africa

South Africa
Photo by Anthony Espinosa on Unsplash

In its draft (AAVCS) white paper published last week, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies proposed stricter regulations around the advertising of alcohol and junk-food in South Africa.

The department emphasised that the proposed regulations should be introduced in an effort to protect the country’s youth from misleading and harmful marketing.

Junk Food

“The draft white paper proposes that to protect children, the regulator must in respect of the scheduling of adverts make regulations for all AAVCS licensees on the advertising of alcoholic beverages and harmful foods that are high in salt, sugars, fat, saturated fats or trans-fatty acids or that otherwise do not fit national or international nutritional guidelines,” says the department.

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The proposal does not detail how these advertisements should be regulated but in 2019, the department hinted at the introduction of ‘warning labels’ saying, that it was looking to introduce new regulations to allow for front-of-pack warning labels.


The Liquor Amendment Bill was introduced in 2016 after the adoption of the new national Liquor Policy of 2016. The bill was drafted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and approved for public comment by Cabinet in September 2016. However, the bill got stuck in the system in 2017 and has never been submitted to parliament for processing until now.

While this bill proposes changes to alcohol advertising in South Africa, a second, unpublished draft of the Liquor Amendment Bill reportedly proposes further restrictions around alcohol advertising on social media.

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The changes proposed in the two bills are outlined in more detail below. The first column shows the proposed changes in the 2016 bill and the second column outlines the changes in the unpublished draft bill – via BusinessTech.

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