The Democratic Alliance (DA) is planning to make amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act that will affect everything from alcohol sales to ‘proof of age’ requirements. The proposal comes as a part of its strategy to drastically decrease the murder rate in the province over the next 10 years, as well as the Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance’s call for the draft liquor amendment bill to be expedited, along with the “zero limit” for driving.

The province’s minister of community safety Albert Fritz said the changes are in line with premier Alan Winde’s “Smart Interventions” intended to reduce alcohol-related crimes.

The plan is to have these proposals evaluated by the local Cabinet before a 21-day consultation window is opened. After receiving public submissions, the DA will debate around whether it becomes law or not.

The eight new proposals for the Western Cape Liquor Act

The following proposals have been made:

  • 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.

Fritz said the proposed amendments will also be an attempt to enable unlicensed outlets to become licensed. This will allow them to adhere to regulations, including zoning and trading hours.