The deadline is approaching for making comments on a draft South Africa law mandating health warnings on packaging and advertising for alcoholic drinks sold in the country.

Businesses, non-governmental organisations and foreign governments have until May 11 to comment on a law insisting warnings appear on all labels for drinks with an abv of 1% or more from next February 11.

The warnings would be large: one-eighth of the total size of any advertisement, container label or promotional material.

They would be black on a white background would include messages such as "alcohol reduces driving ability, don't drink and drive"; "alcohol is a major cause of violence and crime"; and "drinking during pregnancy can be harmful to your unborn baby". 

The warnings would appear in any of the 11 official languages of South Africa. Heath minister

Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said: "This is our first step towards ensuring responsible use of alcohol."