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Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Cape Town 'by-laws support reduced trading hours'

Cape Town residents will not have to worry about problematic nightclubs being able to extend their operating hours, says the city council.

This week, the city assured residents there would be widespread consulation before they extended an establishment's liquor trading hours.

The matter was discussed at both the Good Hope subcouncil and mayoral committee meetings this week.

In February the city council amended the Liquor Tradings Days and Hours by-law.

The original by-law was passed in 2010, but not implemented.

The city said the amendments to the by-law struck a balance between keeping business happy, while also regulating the sale of alcohol.

Only establishments in business and industrial areas will be able to apply. Businesses will first have to check how they are zoned before they can apply for the extension.

Metro police, residents organisations and city health will be involved in the applications.

At the subcouncil meeting Dave Bryant, ward councillor for the city centre and surrounds, said the amendments were a 'positive step'.

He said the city was advocating "consultation with ratepayers", but it would also keep in line with the promotion of Cape Town as a tourism hub.

Taki Amira, chairman of the subcouncil, said the by-laws were not there to "punish businesses", but acted more in the interests of "responsible businesses".

At yesterday's Mayco meeting, JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said extending the hours was not a "one size fits all" process. He said there was detailed consideration in assessing these applications.

"Previous complaints around noise nuisances will also have a serious impact on our willingness to consider (extending the hours)," said Smith.

The amendments coincided with the Western Cape Liquor Act. Both came into effect at the start of this month.

There are about 3 000 liquor licence-holding establishments in the city.

Other amendments include hotels being able to start serving so-called "Champagne breakfasts" and allowing wineries on wine estates to trade until midnight. A Three-year-old boy, who was at home by himself, died in a shack fire in Khayelitsha's RR Section on Monday night despite desperate attempts by neighbours to save him.

Police said they did not suspect foul play, but confirmed the child had been left alone by his parents.

Three- year- old Milani Siyaya burned to death in a fire that gutted two shacks.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said yesterday the parents were not arrested but were taken from the scene for trauma counselling and to give statements.

"It's suspected that a paraffin-lamp could have been the cause of the fire," Filander said.

Yesterday, neighbour Mpho Motsobotsi, 29, told the Cape Argus he was woken by the sound of a crying baby and the crackling sound of burning wood about 10pm on Monday.

He saw his neighbour's home was burning. Motsobotsi said he tried to save the child but the door was locked.

"I kicked the door three times to try and get inside. By the time I made it in the child had grown quiet and there was smoke and fire in the whole place. I couldn't see anything," he said.

Along with his neighbours, Motsobotsi grabbed buckets of water to put out the fire and during the commotion his own shack also caught fire. His girlfriend, Vuyokazi Phoki, 26, and their two young childrenmanaged to escape the fire, but their possessions were destroyed

Motsobotsi and his neighbours said this was the third fire in RR Section this year but that this had been the first time that someone had died.

The Argus


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