Plans to change the Western Cape’s alcohol laws have long been in the works, and MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz has confirmed that there is progress being made to have these changes solidified.
“It should be noted that my Department’s proposed amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act are underway. These amendments aim to reduce alcohol related harms and are currently on route to the Western Cape Government’s legal services. Thereafter, it will be referred to provincial Treasury and to myself in my capacity as the provincial Minister of Community Safety,” Fritz said in a statement.
Some of the changes Fritz aims to make include:
– Introducing stricter rules around “proof of age” laws and determining stricter punishment
– Ensuring liquor outlets make use of a record of all sales and create a uniform measure of detail to be provided
– Introducing the permanent confiscation of liquor that has been seized – even after paying an admission of guilt fine
– Implementing changes to liquor licensing fees
– Creating a test which can be used to determine whether a liquor outlet is also illegally selling alcohol
– Limiting the delivery of more liquor than prescribed by ensuring there is a “written consent” to hand to any officer who checks
Between March 27 and September 18, the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) has investigated 162 complaints, of which 61 section 71 matters were placed on the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) case roll.
– 46 licences were suspended;
– 11 applications were dismissed; and
– 4 applications are pending.
Of the 46 licences that were suspended, 43 section 71(4) return hearings and 13 section 20 considerations on these matters took place, of which:
– One licence was revoked after finalisation of a section 20 consideration, while 39 suspensions were lifted by the LLT;
– Two suspensions were lifted, one in the Western Cape High Court and one as part of an internal Appeal Tribunal proceeding; and
– Three return hearings are pending.
“I urge residents to drink responsibly should they wish to do so over the long weekend. We know that over long weekends there are increases in accidents related to or caused by alcohol. Over the long weekend, roadblocks will be conducted to ensure that our roads are safe to use,” Fritz added.