Minister Fritz calls on illegal liquor traders to become licensed | Western Cape Government


Minister Fritz calls on illegal liquor traders to become licensed

23 June 2020



Date: 23 June 2020

Release: immediately

Minister Fritz calls on illegal liquor traders to become licensed

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, calls on all unlicensed liquor traders to approach the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and become licensed. There are many economic, health and safety benefits to both the liquor trader and community, in being licensed.

Licensed liquor traders are reputable and documented business owners that operate legally, qualifying for incentives from the liquor industry including discounted rates from major suppliers. There are many benefits to being a licensed trader.

Minister Fritz said, “It is illegal to sell alcohol without a license as unlicensed trade poses many related harms to the community in which the liquor is sold. When trading illegally, you may be liable for a fine not exceeding R1 million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years, or both. The dangers associated with the illegal sale of alcohol include sale of liquor to underage children, attracting illicit drug traders, contributing to domestic abuse and liquor abuse within the surrounding community.”

“It is important that this industry be regulated and that its traders adhere to the law to prevent these harms. There are simply too many unlicensed premises operating in the province, which pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the Western Cape. My Department has engaged with the WCLA to develop a campaign to encourage illegal and unlicensed shebeens to become licensed liquor traders,” said Minister Fritz.

In addition, being a licensed liquor holder promotes safer drinking practices within communities as there are set operating hours, and the liquor trader must to adhere to health and safety protocols such as limiting the number of persons in their premises, wearing of masks and ensuring adherence to the social distancing rule.

Minister Fritz said, “At the same time, my Department will continue to work with the WCLA to ensure that licensed liquor holders adhere to the relevant laws.” Between 23 March and 19 June, there were 78 investigations into liquor traders who contravened the regulations. Of the 78 investigations:

  • 3 remain under investigation;
  • 2 warnings have been issued;
  • 9 have been referred to SAPS;
  • 11 reports have been drafted for the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT); and
  • 33 licences were suspended.

Of the 33 licences suspended, 27 return hearings have taken place in terms of section 71(4) the Western Cape Liquor Act (the Act), of which:

  • 12 suspensions were extended pending section 20 proceedings of the Act and one is subject to an internal appeal review process; and
  • 14 suspensions were lifted by the LLT for further investigation; and
  • 1 suspension was lifted by a High Court Order.

For more information on becoming a licensed liquor holder, please visit the Western Cape Liquor Authority’s website on, call 021 204 9805 or email

For further clarity on the conditions of lockdown, please see the following FAQs:

Please see English audio clip here:







Media Enquiries: 


Cayla Ann Tomás Murray

Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 064 121 7959

Email:   ­