Albert Fritz, the Minister of Community Safety in the Western Cape, has confirmed that the province has moved forward in its attempts to change the official alcohol laws.

Differing from the regulations across the country, the DA administration wants to introduce measures which clamp down on illegal alcohol sales and give the regional government more power to seize liquor when needed. According to Fritz, the process to have these new laws implemented is now officially underway.

“These amendments aim to reduce alcohol-related harms and are currently en route to the Western Cape Government’s legal services. Thereafter, it’ll be referred to provincial Treasury and to myself, as the provincial Minister of Community Safety,” says Fritz. 

How will alcohol laws change in the Western Cape?

The following proposals, which we wrote about a few weeks ago, have been made by Fritz and his team. They aim to change liquor laws in the Western Cape by:

  • Permanently confiscating seized liquor – following the payment of an admission of guilt fine. 
  • Implementing changes to liquor licensing fees, making it easier to bring unlicensed businesses in line with the law. 
  • Creating a test within the Act to determine whether alcohol has been sold illegally to an outlet or individual. 
  • Tightening ‘proof of age’ laws and their subsequent enforcement. 
  • Aligning the Act with existing laws to create a uniform and clear definition of ‘illicit liquor’. 
  • Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licenses. 
  • 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 ‘written consent’ to presiding officers. 

Misbehaving WC vendors are feeling the full might of the law 

Between 27 March 2020 and 18 September 2020, the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) has investigated 162 complaints, and more than 60 matters were placed on the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) case roll. In total:

  • Forty-six licences were suspended; 
  • Eleven applications were dismissed; and 
  • Four applications are pending. 
  • Meanwhile, two suspensions were lifted, and one was revoked entirely. 

Keep an eye on our blog. We will update you on any new changes to the laws in the coming weeks.