The Liquor Laws Amendment Bill comes into effect


Beer Drinking at Orlando

Wednesday, 15 August 1962

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The Liquor Act, which was passed on 23 June 1927, prohibited Africans and Indians from serving liquor, driving liquor vans and entering licensed premises, which prevented employment by licence holders.

Many people already employed in the liquor services industry at the time were greatly affected, including about 3000 Indians who worked in the brewery trade. On 28 January 1928, however, Section 104 of the liquor bill was withdrawn, and Indians were once again allowed to enter licensed premises.

Despite this, Africans were still not allowed to buy beer legally, and this lead to illegal enterprises such as shebeens and beer brewing by women, although the government often raided townships to prevent these activities.

The only place where African men could drink legally was in municipal beer halls like those in Orlando, Johannesburg, which financed the city council. The introduction of beer halls later lead to the Durban Beer Protests from 1928-9 and protests in Cato Manor in 1959.

Only when the Liquor Laws Amendment Bill came into effect on 15 August 1962 were Africans allowed to buy liquor freely once again.

For more information about segregated legislation, visit one of the following SAHO features:

• Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999) Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997. Westport: Greenwood.

Last updated : 13-Aug-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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