The Western Cape Liquor Authority’s (WCLA) efforts to incentivise compliance and reduce the administrative burden on compliant liquor traders took an important step forward on Monday, 1 August 2022, when notices were served on 116 liquor licence holders whose liquor licences are not capable of automatic renewal for 2023.
These licensees have failed to comply with the conditions of their licence, the WC Liquor Act or a compliance notice, and are therefore required to apply for the renewal of the licence.
The renewal application will be considered by the Liquor Licencing Tribunal to determine whether it is in the public interest to renew the licence or if stricter licence conditions need to be issued.
The rationale behind this differentiated approach is twofold: to reward businesses who trade within the confines of the law with automatic renewal, reducing red tape, and to compel compliance by all licence holders so that the harms associated with alcohol are reduced.
Premier Alan Winde says, “I am delighted to see the WCLA innovating as a regulator. Their efforts to incentivise safe licensee behaviour with reduced red tape and processes that make their businesses run smoother speaks to the ethos of the Western Cape government and where we are headed.”
Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen says, “this is an important step in ensuring that our traders strive hard for compliance. I commend the WCLA for their firm action to help minimize the harms associated with alcohol. Too often we find traders who are operating outside the confines of the law, which tend to lead to further and avoidable acts of lawlessness. The 4th quarter crime statistics of the 2021/22 financial year show us that incidents, directly linked to alcohol that occurred outside liquor outlets led to 16 people being killed, 170 being raped and 468 grievous bodily harm assault (GBH) cases. The more we ensure our outlets and traders are compliant the more we will reduce other forms of crime.”
Communities affected by any of the 116 licensed premises can submit comments for or against the granting of the application for renewal of the liquor licence. The full list of licences and a breakdown of the areas where they are located has been published on the WCLA website. This empowers communities to have a say in the process.
The top 20 areas on the list (which account for 85% of the licences) include 12 of the priority areas in the Western Cape Government’s Safety Plan implementation (Atlantis, Beaufort West, Delft, George, Grabouw, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Malmesbury, Mfuleni, Nyanga and Philippi).
On-consumption liquor licences account for 79% of the licences on the list, which indicates that a differentiated regulatory approach may be required for different licence types.