There’s going to be a serious shake-up with the Western Cape Liquor Act – impacting everything from alcohol sales to ‘proof of age’ requirements.
The Western Cape – and by extension, the City of Cape Town – could soon be subject to new laws related to alcohol sales in the province.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has confirmed that he is pushing for ‘several amendments’ to be made to the region’s Liquor Act, in a bid to crackdown on badly-behaved booze vendors.
WHAT CHANGES COULD BE MADE TO ALCOHOL LAWS IN THE WESTERN CAPE?
The good news is that, although Fritz does want to see some controls implemented on the sale of alcohol, outright bans are seen as being ‘simply unsustainable’ by the WC Government. The amendments supported by Fritz would look to limit illegal sales, and ensure that ‘proper proof of age checks’ are being carried out by businesses.
“Alcohol bans aren’t sustainable interventions as they have a major impact on our economy and contribute to unemployment in communities. Hence why I agree that it is necessary that the unbanning of alcohol be accompanied by smart interventions, such as the proposed amendments, which aim to reduce alcohol-related harm.”
“We aim to work closely with unlicensed outlets and individuals to ensure they become licensed. This requires a whole of government approach to address issues related to availability and access. The amendments further seek to enable unlicensed outlets to become licensed, and adhere to regulations such as zoning and trading hours.”MEC Albert Fritz
REGULATING ALCOHOL SALES IN THE SOUTH-WEST
There is a range of key amendments to the already existing Liquor Act which have been proposed by the provincial government. The plan is to have these proposals reviewed by the local Cabinet before a 21-day consultation window is opened. After public submissions are taken, the Provincial Parliament will debate the amendments before deciding on whether it becomes law or not.
The following proposals have been made by Fritz and his team. They aim to change liquor laws in the Western Cape by:
- Permanently confiscating seized liquor – following the payment of an admission of guilt fine.
- Implementing changes to liquor licensing fees, making it easier to bring unlicensed businesses in line with the law.
- Creating a test within the Act to determine whether alcohol has been sold illegally to an outlet or individual.
- Tightening ‘proof of age’ laws and their subsequent enforcement.
- Aligning the Act with existing laws to create a uniform and clear definition of ‘illicit liquor’.
- Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licenses.
- Ensuring that a record of all liquor sales is kept by outlets and prescribe the measure of detail required.
- Limiting the delivery of more than the prescribed limit of liquor by inserting a requirement to produce ‘written consent’ to presiding officers.