12 AUGUST 2019


There are several laws relating to buying and consuming alcohol for under-18s.
What does the law say?

To sell alcohol to someone under 18 anywhere.
For an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18. (Retailers can reserve the right to refuse the sale of alcohol to an adult if they’re accompanied by a child and think the alcohol is being bought for the child.)
For someone under 18 to buy alcohol, attempt to buy alcohol or to be sold alcohol.
For someone under 18 to drink alcohol in licensed premises, except where the child is 16 or 17 years old and accompanied by an adult. In this case it is legal for them to drink, but not buy, beer, wine and cider with a table meal.
For an adult to buy alcohol for someone under 18 for consumption on licensed premises, except as above.
To give children alcohol if they are under five.

It is not illegal:

For someone over 18 to buy a child over 16 beer, wine or cider if they are eating a table meal together in licensed premises.
For a child aged five to 17 to drink alcohol at home or on other private premises.

For more information visit our page on buying alcohol.
Consequences of breaking the law

If the police suspect someone under 18 has alcohol in a public place, they have the power to confiscate it. If young people get caught with alcohol three times they could face a social contract, a fine or arrest.

The police can also confiscate alcohol from someone, no matter what their age, if they believe it has been, or will be drunk by someone under 18 in a public place.



07 AUGUST 2019


What are the normal working hours in a week?

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the maximum normal working time allowed is 45 hours weekly.  This is nine hours per day (excluding a lunch break) if the employee works a five-day week, and eight hours per day (excluding a lunch break) if the employee works more than 5 days per week.

This does not mean that the employee must work 45 hours per week normal time. The amount of normal time worked is a matter of contractual agreement between employer and employee.  Some employers work a 40-hour week, and so on. 

The statutory limitation of 45 hours per week means that the employee may not work more than 45 hours per week normal time. 

What about lunch hours?

Lunch break is unpaid time and is the employee’s own time – he/she can read a book, go shopping, do exercise etc because they are not paid for lunch breaks. 

Therefore an employee who works a five-day week and who receives a lunch break of one hour daily will actually be at the workplace for 50 hours weekly (45 hours normal working time plus five hours daily lunch breaks.) 

The lunch break is to be provided after five hours continuous working time.  Tea breaks do not qualify as a break in working time. The statutory lunch break is one hour, but by agreement between the employee and employer this may be reduced to 30 minutes. 

Employees who earn above the determined threshold amount must negotiate the normal amount of working hours per day or per week with the employer.  The employee is under no obligation to work more than 45 hours per week. 

What about overtime? Will I be paid? 

All overtime is voluntary and may only be worked by agreement between employer and employee. 

Maximum permissible overtime is three hours on any one day or 10 hours in any one week. Remuneration must be at 1, 5 times the normal wage rate except for Sunday work and work on public holidays, which must be remunerated at twice the normal wage rate. 

Time off, calculated on the same formula, may be granted instead of payment, but only by agreement with the employee. 

Employees who earn in excess of the present threshold amount are not subject to the overtime provisions. This means that such employees cannot demand to be paid for overtime worked, nor can they demand to be granted paid time off in view of payment. However, contrary to popular belief, the employer also cannot force such employees to work overtime and cannot demand that they work overtime without compensation. 

All forced labour is prohibited, and should the employer require such employees to work overtime then the hours to be worked and the basis of compensation must be negotiated with the employee. 

Should the employer refuse to compensate for overtime worked in the case of an “over the threshold” employee, then the employee is entitled to refuse to work the overtime. 

What is “overtime worked”? 

All hours worked in excess of the employee’s normal hours of work will be regarded as overtime hours. 

Therefore, if an employee is contracted to work 45 hours per week normal time, then any hours in excess of that is overtime worked. Similarly, if an employee is contracted to work 40 hours per week normal time, then any hours in excess of the 40 hours is overtime worked. 

What about overtime on short notice? 

Overtime is not compulsory, and employees can refuse to work overtime on short notice. 

However, an employee cannot refuse to work overtime if the work which is required to be done must be done without delay owing to circumstances for which the employer could not reasonably have been expected to make provision, such as the sudden breakdown of equipment, and which cannot be performed by employees during the ordinary hours of work.  



06 AUGUST 2019


“Many departments have a backlog of delayed draft legislation that needs to be introduced into Parliament to avoid the end-of-the-fifth-term crunch, so lawmakers will be doing a lot of heavy legislative lifting this year,” it said.

“At the same time, more private legislation tabled by Members of Parliament is no longer a possibility but is expected,” it said.

Smoking laws

New proposals for changes to South Africa’s smoking laws will be presented by the end of March, according to department of health director-general, Precious Matsoso.

The regulations plan to ban smoking in all public spaces, remove branding from cigarettes packs and control electronic cigarettes.

A zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking in public places (including the removal of designated smoking areas in restaurants);
A ban on outdoor smoking in public places;
When smoking outside, smokers must be at least 10 metres away from public entrances;
The removal of all signage on cigarette packaging aside from the brand name and warning stickers;
Cigarettes may no longer be publicly displayed by retailers.

Hate speech laws

RASA Objections


19 January 2018

To: Mrs Mongwadi Mary Ngwetjana Deputy Registrar of Labour Relations Department of Labour
Laboria House
215 Francis Baard Street Private Bag X117 Pretoria

Ref:     Government Gazette No 41351 Notice No. R. 1470 Department of Labour

22nd December 2018

RE: Submission of Formal objection to the registration of the Statutory Council known as the Statutory Council for the Fast Food, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades (“SCFFRCAT”) to be recognised as a Bargaining Council in terms of s48, read with s29, of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 (as amended).



RASA is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2004, to act in the interest of the South African restaurateurs and to ensure that there was a lobby and a voice to speak on there behalf. The sole purpose of RASA is to represent develop educate and ensure sustainability for the restaurant industry. RASA is the port of call by government for all consultations relating to the restaurant industry and includes the transformation of the industry through job creation, skills development and capacity building.


RASA confirms that the views expressed herein are that of a diverse and broad nature. The observations, comments and proposals represent the views of rural, urban, group independent, established and emerging hospitality institutions all forming part of RASA.   The aforementioned, inter alia, have a direct interest in the outcome of the proposed application.