Alan Winde to amend liquor act to curb Western Cape’s 'deadly relationship with alcohol'

Here's what you need to know

18 February 2021 - 07:30 By unathi nkanjeni
Western Cape premier Alan Winde. File Photo.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde. File Photo.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde

Western Cape premier Alan Winde says the province plans to change its deadly relationship with alcohol by amending the liquor act.

Winde was delivering his state of the province address on Wednesday.

He said provincial data showed a causal relationship between alcohol abuse in communities and violence.

“That is why we are instead pursuing more targeted interventions by amending the Western Cape Liquor Act. These amendments will, directly and indirectly, reduce alcohol harms, as well as improve the efficiency of the Western Cape Liquor Authority,” said Winde.

Winde said a series of the first amendments will be presented to the regulatory affect assessment committee next week, and a formal submission to the cabinet will be made by the end of March.

“Our intention remains to have this amendment bill published for public comment in the next few months,” he said.

“In addressing this major problem in our communities, I am also committed to working with the industry and consumers to find new and innovative solutions to reduce alcohol-related harms in the Western Cape.”

He said though the province had problems with alcohol abuse, banning booze was unsustainable and that it would increase unemployment that feeds crime in communities.

“We cannot allow the status quo regarding alcohol abuse and violence to continue in the Western Cape. But we also cannot continue banning alcohol either,” said Winde.

Previously, the province announced changes to amend its liquor act to halve the number of murders in the province in the next 10 years.

The key proposed amendments to regulations include the following:

  • Permanently confiscating seized liquor after the payment of an admission of guilt fine.
  • Inserting an objective test within the act to determine whether alcohol has been sold to an unlicensed outlet/individual.
  • Obliging licence holders to take reasonable measures to determine that a client is of legal drinking age.
  • Aligning the act with the Liquor Products Act to ensure a uniform definition of “illicit liquor”.
  • Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licences.
  • Expanding section 24 committee powers to hear enforcement matters.
  • Expanding the capacity and availability of the Appeal Tribunal/Authority.
  • Enabling the minister of community safety to prescribe by way of regulation additional and relevant information to be considered by the Liquor Licensing Tribunal or the presiding officer.
  • Ensuring that a record of all liquor sales is kept by outlets and prescribe the measure of detail required.
  • Limiting the delivery of more than the prescribed limit of liquor by inserting a requirement to produce the “written consent of the presiding officer”.