Western Cape Government and SAPS Unite to Ensure Effective Liquor Act
Today, I held a productive meeting with the Western Cape Liquor Authority and representatives of the South African Police Service to address some of the red tape concerns that have been brought to our attention since the full implementation of the province’s new Liquor Act.
With every Act, despite extensive public consultation, some unintended consequences only come to light after full implementation. We are determined to address these with urgency to ensure that the new Liquor Act is effective in doing what it set out to do, which is to root out non-compliant liquor traders who are harming our communities.
In the weeks ahead, we will jointly devise an Amendment to the Liquor Act which will remove unnecessary red tape and clear the way for the SAPS to focus on enforcement of those who are indulging in criminal behaviour at the expense of innocent people.
As part of this process, we have agreed to review the section of the Act which requires citizens to request approval to store more than 150 litres of liquor on a premises. This section was originally inserted to give police the power to prosecute illegal outlet owners who claim that the liquor on their premises is for private use.
It is my firm undertaking to see that the proposed Amendment is delivered to the legislature as swiftly as possible. I will also ensure that through these changes, we tackle the real sources of the Western Cape’s liquor abuse scourge.
I would also like to urge the public to help us to deal with the impact of alcohol abuse meted out by legal outlets that are not obeying the terms of their licences by bringing incidences of non-compliance, with proof, to our attention. These terms are put in place to protect innocent communities from the harms associated with liquor abuse.
As for unlicenced outlets, they are tearing our communities apart. SAPS have assured us that they are working hard to shut them down. Together, we are throwing our full weight behind bringing non-compliant legals and illegal liquor traders to book.
If you spot illegal activity at a licenced outlet, such as selling to underage patrons, contact the Liquor Authority’s call centre at 0860 142 142.