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Tuesday Feb 18, 2014

Cape Town to clamp down on liqour trading hours transgressions

Liquor outlets 'showing a blatant disregard' for the City of Cape Town's trading hours by-law will be prosecuted, says Taki Amira, chairman of the subcouncil for the city and Atlantic Seaboard.

And those that are prosecuted 'seriously jeopardise the validity of their liquor licence that is issued by the Western Cape Liquor Authority'.

Alan Winde, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, said the Western Cape Liquor Authority had clamped down on defaulters in the past few months.

The Florentine in Observatory and Die Bult in George were closed down last year for trading without a valid licence. Licensed establishments in Woodstock, Elsies River and Mitchells Plain lost their licences for breaking the law.

The Springbok Pub in Stellenbosch was fined R50 000 for exceeding its trading hours and Saldanha Liquors had to pay the Liquor Authority R40 000 for selling alcohol to illegal shebeens.

'We are sending a clear message to licence holders (that) irresponsible trading will not be tolerated,' said Winde.

Amira said many outlets in the city were granted permission last year to extend their trading hours from 2am to 4am. However, these permits expired on December 31 and needed to be renewed.

But few had heeded the call to reapply.

'Many clubs trading after 2am are now doing so at risk to their licences as they do so illegally.'

He said it was disconcerting that the subcouncil had not received any applications from bottle stores to extend their trading hours. This was despite complaints that many off-consumption outlets were opening before the authorised times and were still selling booze after closing time, and even on Sundays.

These included outlets in Green Point's Main Road, Loop and Wale Streets.

He said the city's liquor law enforcement would be asked to start prosecuting outlets that traded outside their authorised hours.

'The new by-law allows those that want to trade in extended time to apply.'

Winde said the provincial government was holding awareness drives for liquor licence holders. There are more than 8 000 licence holders in the Western Cape.

Cape Argus


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