WCup visitors in N.Cape may booze till late

2010-04-15 09:56

World Cup visitors to the Northern Cape might be able to buy

alcohol until 2am in the interests of a “relaxed social atmosphere”, if the

province’s economic development MEC gets his way.

“It is my intention to create circumstances conducive to a relaxed

social atmosphere during the World Cup,” economic development and tourism MEC

John Block said in a statement.

He was considering amending the province’s new Liquor Act to allow

drinks to be sold until 2am in bars, restaurants, taverns and hotels.

The amendment, gazetted on April 7, came seven days after the

province’s new Liquor Act came into force, restricting the sale of liquor until

midnight.

The department said the MEC had the power to amend the new

provincial Liquor Act, if he was convinced it was in the public’s interest

during a special event.

“The Northern Cape will be hosting the team of Uruguay and I have

therefore, in accordance with powers derived from the new Liquor Act, declared

the period from 12 June 2010 until 11 July 2010 as a period during which trading

hours for all on-consumption liquor outlets will be relaxed completely,” he said.

The amendment would be introduced to the Northern Cape legislature

urgently.

The announcement followed reports of tavern owners in Kimberley

vowing to snub the new provincial Liquor Act, which prevents them from selling

liquor after midnight.

Provincial authorities were of the opinion the new act would help

curb escalating rates of alcohol-fuelled rapes and murders in the Northern

Cape.

The provincial Liquor Traders Association however, said it would

force some of them to close shop.

The association said business started to peak from 11pm, and if

asked to close at midnight it would deal a serious blow to their

businesses.

The new act prevents any shebeen, tavern, liquor store or outlet

from operating beyond midnight in the province.



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