WCLA Update: Minister Fritz commends WCLA on 103 enforcement operations | Western Cape Government

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WCLA Update: Minister Fritz commends WCLA on 103 enforcement operations

8 December 2020

The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, notes that the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA), has investigated 266 reports of non-compliance with the Western Cape Liquor Act and the National Disaster Risk Management Act’s Regulations between 27 March 2020 and 4 December 2020. Of the 266 investigations, 49 licenses were suspended, two were revoked and one license was cancelled.

Minister Fritz further commends the WCLA on its enforcement operations conducted over the weekend, during which 103 compliance visits were conducted.

Of the 266 investigations, 83 section 71 matters were placed on the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) case roll, of which:

  • 49 licences were suspended;
  • 23 applications were dismissed; and
  • 11 applications were referred to the Prosecutor.

Of the 49 licences that were suspended, 49 section 71(4) return hearings took place, of which:

  • One licence was revoked after finalisation of a section 20 consideration;
  • 46 suspensions were lifted by the LLT;
  • Two suspensions were lifted, one 1 in the Western Cape High Court and one through an internal Appeal Tribunal proceeding; and
  • No return hearings are pending.

In total, 75 Covid-19 related section 20 matters were forwarded to the Liquor Licensing Tribunal, of which:

  • One licence was revoked;
  • One licence was cancelled;
  • Six licences were suspended;
  • Five applications were dismissed;
  • Four licensees were issued with stricter conditions;
  • One application was referred to the Prosecutor; and
  • 30 matters are currently pending.

Minister Fritz said, “It should further be noted that in 27 matters fines to the amount of R2.564 million were issued, of which an amount of R1.382 million was suspended for a period of 24 months on condition that the licence holder does not contravene the Act and licence conditions again during this period.”

WCLA Compliance and Enforcement Operation

Over the past weekend, WCLA Liquor Inspectors conducted compliance and enforcement visits in collaboration with SAPS and other Law Enforcement Agencies in Mossel Bay, George, Conville, Thembalethu, Plettenberg Bay, Claremont, Mowbray, Newlands, Rondebosch and Hout Bay.

During these operations, 103 compliance visits were conducted. One Compliance Notice was issued, 18 Section 73 Reports (non-compliance) were submitted, and two Section 71 Reports (suspensions) were submitted.

Minister Fritz said, “These integrated operations are crucial to the regulation of the liquor industry and reducing alcohol related harms. Some of the premises visited were identified by the SAPS Designated Liquor Officers, based on complaints received from local communities.”

Minister Fritz added, “The WCLA is playing an important role in our efforts to curb the resurgence of Covid-19 infections through coordinated enforcement of the National Disaster Management Regulations. Liquor Inspectors pay special attention to whether licence holders are trading responsibly and are implementing Covid-19 safety measures including social distancing, wearing of masks and trading within the stipulated hours.”

Minister Fritz added further, “When taking part in compliance visits, Liquor Inspectors further investigate whether underage drinking is taking place. In addition, they investigate whether liquor is being sold for off-consumption purposes, such as bottle stores, by on-consumption premises, such as bars and restaurants. Finally, they investigate whether off-consumption licence holders are selling liquor to unlicenced traders operating out of wheelie bins, trolleys or shebeens, and ensure that the necessary disciplinary action is taken to prevent alcohol related harms.”

Minister Fritz concluded, “Many of the premises were found to be implementing Covid-19 safety protocols. However, Liquor Inspectors identified bars and taverns with over-crowding, no mask wearing, no sanitising of hands when entering the premises and no social distancing protocols followed. One premises was closed immediately by SAPS for the duration of the remaining trading hours, due to there being an imminent Covid-19 danger to the public.”

Media Enquiries: 

Cayla Ann Tomás Murray

Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 064 121 7959

Email: Cayla.murray@westerncape.gov.za