WESTERN CAPE LIQUOR AMENDMENT ACT
Highlights of the recent FEDHASA Cape legislation seminar, outlining key aspects raised regarding the Western Cape Liquor Amendment Act:
The Western Cape Liquor Amendment Act was gazetted for public comment last month, with submissions due by 24 November. One of the areas of concerns is the proposed trading hours for on consumption establishments of 11h00 until 02h00. For example, the practicalities of licensees ensuring that every mini bar is sealed at two in the morning. While this is not the intention of the legislators, it offers an example of how confusing legislation can be at times. The Western Cape Liquor Amendment Act also makes provision for local authorities to implement by-laws concerning trading hours over and above those provided by the Province.
A further concern is that this Act does not take into account the zoning difficulties being experienced by many existing licence holders as well as prospective licensees, including Shebeen owners wishing to make an application for a liquor licence. They have been excluded from the public participation process as they are unlicensed and FEDHASA has raised its concern that they should be consulted and the zoning issue resolved. The Cape Town City Council, concerned about public disturbances in residential areas, has drafted a by-law that will prevent the consumption of liquor after 21h00 in certain areas. The view was put forward that the Council should rather look to endorse the licenses of establishments guilty of causing noise pollution and charge the licensee. The penalty could range from a reduction in trading hours to the permanent removal of the licence. The law should look to punish only those establishments guilty of an offence.
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