Upcoming Law Changes in South Africa

Upcoming Law Changes in South Africa
Upcoming Law Changes in South Africa

It appears that 2018 is going to be quite a year for South Africa and its citizens concerning multiple areas. Some changes are going to affect only certain parts of the society, while most of them are going to have an impact on the whole country. Whether it is going to be to a lesser or higher extent remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: the government seems pretty inspired this year to change the lives of South Africans for the better (whether they like it or not), so let’s take a look at the proposed laws.

There is quite a number of stricter gambling laws to be implemented, and they are explained in detail by Play Casino. The government has really been inspired when it comes to gambling habits of South Africans and if there is one word to the describe all of them, that would be: discouragement.

First of all, shopping centers and similar public places are going to be banned from having casinos, even if their entrances are hidden from an inexperienced observer. Next, the maximum number of gambling licences is said to be rather minimal, which only means that the competition is becoming even more fierce. This included electronic bingo as well.

Dog racing is to be completely banned, while horse racing is going to be specially regulated. In order to dishearten the gambling industry efforts even more, advertising will be affected, too. As for the online casinos, they await further details and similar destiny.

Despite the fact that gambling and its forms greatly adds to the country’s budget, gambling addiction among the population is a higher priority.

Another set of laws refers to anti-smoking policy. Some still remember the uproar from two decades ago when the non-smoking policy was first introduced. Nevertheless, the rebellion and anxiety were completely unnecessary since banning smoking from restaurants and similar places did not affect the hospitality revenue in the slightest. The effect of the new changes is to be seen.

Namely, indoor public places are going to be 100% smoke-free, as smoking inside will be banned, even if there were special areas designed for it. Second-hand smoking is once again considered a major hazard. Some outdoor spaces are to be definitely smoke-free as well.

The other major change concerns the ever popular e-cigarettes. While they were advertised as highly recommendable and harmless, it appears they are just as harmful as the ordinary ones. Also, since smokers have got used to disturbing packagings, i.e. the health warnings on them, the new law suggests uniform look for all the brands. Plain packaging is supposed to decrease the cigarette appeal.

Finally, there is the Climate Change Bill with laws especially designed to tend to the detrimental effects of climate change. Since South Africa is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions on the continent, the time has come for the laws to be abided. The National Climate Change Response White Paper from 2011 appears to be futile in the country’s efforts to protect the environment and its citizens. Therefore, the new set of laws is supposed to finally introduce the real changes.

Finally, a legal basis for carbon allowances is to be set in order for the rules to really have some effect. Companies will have to respect the established norms when it comes to carbon emissions. The Bill generally describes the ultimate goals to prevent causing harm to the environment, but this time it is expected to lead to many (real) restrictions among the greenhouse gas major producers.

In addition to all this, hate speech is also to be defined in greater detail. What is considered to be an insult of this level is going to be explained by taking into account seventeen characteristics. Many fear that this would mean facing strict punishments for even some minor insults if they are to be interpreted as a serious crime.

Last but not least, alcohol laws are facing alterations, too. One of the most argued topics is the suggested legal drinking age. At the moment, you can legally drink alcohol when you turn 18, but the new law is to move the limit to 21. What is considered to be an alcoholic beverage is also a limiting consumption factor since a drink with 0.5% of alcohol content is to be considered alcoholic (as opposed to the current 1%).

To sum up, there is quite an interesting period ahead for the South Africans. As it is usually the case, there is to be lots of debate, but how much the laws will be implemented in real life is to be seen.