Liquor Abuse: Minister Winde Leads Unannounced Liquor Raid
In an effort to end liquor abuse, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, led an unannounced raid on establishments that serve alcohol in Maitland on the evening of 14 May.
Minister Winde was accompanied by officers from Maitland Police Station, the local Neighbourhood Watch, inspectors from the Western Cape Liquor Authority, members of the community and the local councillor, all of whom have joined forces to ensure that licensed establishments in the area are abiding by the terms of the liquor law and their licence conditions.
Speaking at a media briefing before the raid, Minister Winde said: "It is encouraging to see members of the police, the community, Neighbourhood Watch and councillors taking practical steps to end the scourge of liquor abuse in our province. It is only in partnership Better Together that we will ensure that liquor traders operate responsibly. Three hundred people die every month in our province due to alcohol-related incidents. We will be coming down hard on liquor traders that do not keep to their licence conditions and whose irresponsible actions may be a factor in these deaths."
Minister Winde added: "We will be conducting liquor raids across the province in the coming months. Our aim is not to destroy businesses, but ensure that they operate within the law. The idea of these raids is to encourage liquor traders to clean up their acts. If they are found to be disobeying the law, we will penalise them or shut them down."
According to section 82 of the new Western Cape Liquor Act, failure by a licensee to comply with their licensing conditions may result in the suspension of their licence, a fine, prosecution or the cancellation of the licence.
Fines ranging from R1 000 to R3 500 were handed out to liquor traders for violations ranging from expired fire extinguishers, obstructed fire escapes and the sale of food without the required certificate.
Phumzile van Damme
Spokesperson for Minister Winde
Cell: 082 378 2235