THE legal drinking age is going to move from 18 to 21, and boozers will be expected to carry IDs whenever they visit drinking holes.

This was revealed by Mpumalaga MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, Skhumbuzo Kholwane, at a meeting with liquor associations, forums and traders held at the Adelaide Tambo Hall in Middelburg.

He was accompanied by MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Pat Ngomane.

Kholwane said on Thursday that the liquor industry nationwide would experience changes as national liquor policy was being amended.

A time for the change was not announced, as negotiations were continuing.

He said: “We’re not fighting with liquor traders, but they must adhere to their licensing agreement.

“Taverns and shebeens must not make a loud noise and must operate within the regulated time.

“We want to see customers being managed so that they don’t disturb others.

“Liquor outlets such as shebeens and taverns should not be within a 500m radius of schools, clinics and other public institutions.

He urged people to “drink like Jesus”. He said alcohol was not the problem, but people’s behaviour was the problem after they had had one too many.

Ngomane said: “More than 70% of alcohol buyers are children, and what do we say about the future of this country?

“We must build the nation by working together. Illegal liquor traders will be arrested