News24

Illegal liquor trade - crackdown 'unlikely'

2011-04-13 17:05

Johannesburg - There was "little chance" that Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's promise to crack-down on illegal liquor traders would happen soon, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

DA Gauteng spokesperson Jack Bloom said there were 26 inspectors to assess whether 8 000 liquor outlets in Gauteng complied with the Gauteng Liquor Act.

This, he discovered on an unannounced visit to the Gauteng Liquor Board in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"It will be a daunting task to inspect all these outlets to enforce compliance," Bloom said in a statement.

He said 6 000 liquor outlets had applied for the conversion of their existing licences under old legislation.

Another 2 000 licence-holders had failed to apply for conversion and were illegal.

"They also face a legal minefield as the Gauteng Liquor Act is badly drafted and there are many court challenges."

Bloom said it appeared that the legal requirement banning liquor selling within 500m of a school or church would be difficult to enforce.

He said more than 2 000 existing licence holders had traded legally for years and "it may well be unconstitutional to take their existing rights away even though they are near a school or church".

The DA believed that defects in the act had to be remedied and management problems at the Liquor Board speedily fixed.