City of Cape Town confiscated almost 5,000 litres of alcohol during the festive season

05 January 2022 - 14:00
By Cebelihle Bhengu
The city of Cape Town confiscated 8,699 bottles of booze during the festive season. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/VLADISLAVS GORNIKS The city of Cape Town confiscated 8,699 bottles of booze during the festive season. Stock photo.

The City of Cape Town confiscated 8,699 bottles of alcohol, which amounts to 5,000 litres, at public beaches and other amenities throughout the festive season.

The city’s safety and security MMC JP Smith said law enforcement officials confiscated 2,315 bottles on December 26 and 1,206 on New Year’s Day.

Smith said alcohol confiscation potentially saved lives and warned against swimming while under the influence. 

“Removing the alcohol through impounding it is no mean feat. Many people become riotous or refuse to co-operate.

“ I want to remind the public that every litre of alcohol confiscated is potentially one fewer person driving drunk or swimming drunk, or getting involved in a fight or an accident or hurting someone else,” he said.

Smith said Cape Town’s rainy weather on New Year’s Day could have contributed to fewer bottles of alcohol being confiscated as there were fewer people out. 

I think the weather on New Year’s Day was the biggest contributing factor as our beaches were not nearly as busy as they might have been otherwise. Or perhaps the penny is finally dropping and some people are starting to realise alcohol is best left at home. One can only hope,” said Smith. 

The 2019/2020 festive season had the highest number of bottles confiscated at 9,605.

During the lockdown in 2020/2021, the number was significantly reduced to 1,658. 

The province is taking a strong stance against alcohol.

Last month, police minister Bheki Cele destroyed 20,000 litres of alcohol confiscated from illegal establishments in the province.

Wine, spirits and beer were flushed away by the minister in the presence of provincial police and city officials.

“The liquor destroyed was traded illegally. This has nothing to do with the legal shebeens, taverns and outlets. We will not allow people to trade illegally when it comes to alcohol,” said the minister.