WCLA Update: Minister Fritz welcomes Cabinet’s position on liquor sales
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the 112 investigations conducted by the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and the 37 licenses suspended. These efforts have assisted in reducing alcohol related harms between 27 March and 7 August 2020.
Minister Fritz further welcomes the Western Cape Government Cabinet’s position on the safe opening of all businesses and the domestic sale of alcohol together with smart interventions.
Of the 112 investigations, 46 matters were placed on the Liquor Licensing Tribunal’s (LLT) case roll of which:
- 37 licences were suspended;
- Eight applications were dismissed; and
- One application is pending.
Minister Fritz continued, “The licenses were suspended in terms of section 71 of the Western Cape Liquor Act (the Act) which means that the WCLA may suspend a license on an interim and urgent basis where there is an imminent threat to the health, wellbeing or safety of the public. Moving forward, those liquor license holders who remain non-compliant in terms of section 20 of the Act will be investigated and may eligible for a fine of up to R115 000 or have their license revoked.”
Of the 37 licences that were suspended, 33 section 71(4) return hearings as well as further section 20 considerations on 13 of these matters, took place of which:
- One licence was revoked after finalisation of a section 20 consideration, while 30 suspensions were lifted by the LLT;
- Two suspensions were lifted, one in the High Court and one as part of an internal Appeal Tribunal proceedings;
- Four return hearings are pending; and
- 29 Covid-19 related section 20 and section 62(4) matters were forwarded to the LLT, of which one licence was revoked, two applications dismissed, and 26 matters are pending.
Minister Fritz said, “As a provincial government, we recognise that many liquor license holders including restaurants and bars have been placed under enormous strain. We are sympathetic and understand that many jobs and businesses are on the line due to the ban on the sale of alcohol.”
Minister Fritz added, “I reiterate the point stressed in Cabinet last week, namely, that the temporary ban on the sale of alcohol should be lifted immediately, in conjunction with the implementation of smart interventions to reduce alcohol related harms. I further wish to commend the WCLA on the work that they are doing in this regard.”
Minister Fritz continued, “I urge members of the public who are aware of any alcohol related contraventions to immediately report such to SAPS. Any persons wanting to lodge a complaint or report a contravention of the Regulations can also contact the WCLA on 021 204 9805.”
Please see English audio clip here: https://clyp.it/0le41jqv