Western Cape Liquor Authority Conducts Mega-blitz Across the Province
As part of a province-wide clamp-down on non-compliant liquor licence holders, the Western Cape Liquor Authority will be visiting drinking establishments across the Western Cape in the months ahead to see if they are sticking to the law.
In the first week of June, the Liquor Authority made its first stop. In collaboration with municipal enforcement agencies and the South African Police Service, 246 liquor inspections were conducted in the Southern Cape towns of Oudtshoorn, Carlitzdorp, Dysselsdorp, Ladysmith, Uniondale, Prince Albert and De Rust. Inspections were also conducted on licenced premises on the R62 leading to Oudtshoorn.
This operation comes after scores of complaints from residents in the area.
Eighty-nine premises were found to be fully compliant with the Liquor Authority's requirements and 157 were non-compliant, but with minor issues. CEO of the Western Cape Liquor Authority, Thys Giliomee, said: "This high rate of non-compliance shows that when it comes to liquor, our licenced outlets need an education, there is a need for licence holders to be educated about their responsibilities with regards to compliance."
The Liquor Authority also inspected 24 establishments following specific complaints from members of the public. Based on the evidence found, these cases will be fully investigated.
Three establishments were closed down until further notice, one of which had ignored a prior order to close from the Liquor Authority, and two others which were trading without current licences. Under the law, trading without a valid licence is a punishable offence. "We will ensure that these establishments feel the full brunt of the law".
In another incident, a nightclub was raided and minors were found on the premises. The minors were taken to the nearest police station and their parents were called. We have opened a criminal case against the nightclub owner, which will be followed up on a regular basis.
Giliomee applauded his partners in the blitz for their assistance and co-operation: "The SAPS Liquor Officers of most of the areas were co-operating and the whole operation would not have been a success without their help. We also received full co-operation from the municipal Law Enforcement team who joined us during the night inspections. The Law Enforcement issued fines in terms of the municipal by-law".
Minister Alan Winde, the minster responsible for implementation of the Western Cape Liquor Act, said: "Irresponsible liquor traders have a devastating impact on the residents of our province. That is why we are determined to change our drinking culture which results in alcohol abuse that drives social ills and irresponsible behaviour like drunk driving and interpersonal violence. We will use all the powers at our disposal to bring liquor licence holders who contravene the law to book. Non-complaint establishments should get their houses in order because very soon we will be knocking on the door.”
Minister Winde urged residents to continue reporting their complaints to the Liquor Authority.