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Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Business fights back over new Cape liquor law

Harley's Liquor and Wine Specialists has filed an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court for an interdict to stop the planned ban on the selling of alcohol on Sundays.

Owner Michael Brownstone is taking the City of Cape Town and three other parties, including the Western Cape Liquor Board, to court before a by-law prohibiting the sale of booze on Sundays comes into effect next month.

"There is a serious problem with these laws. They are nonsensical and several departments are involved," said Brownstone.

He said the by-law would see an increase in illegal alcohol trading and would lead to job losses in the industry.

"If these laws are passed, I would have to retrench half my staff. The laws are not constitutionally sound and this is what I am challenging."

The City of Cape Town said the interdict was not sought against them specifically, as the City was not a liquor licensing authority .

"The City as a local authority can only determine the hours and days of trading and does not issue liquor licences," said councillor Garreth Bloor, pictured, mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning.

Asked whether the liquor trader would be allowed to operate on Sundays, Bloor said: "The finding of the court is of no real significance to the City.

"The interdict is not against the by-law which controls trading hours."

The City said no other traders could apply for a Sunday licence, as the new by-laws come into place next month.

The Western Cape Liquor Authority's Philip Prinsloo said they would abide by the ruling of the court.

Cape Argus


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