Pubs ‘out of control’

2018-10-15 15:50
KZN Liquor Authority struggling as outlets violate licence rules.

KZN Liquor Authority struggling as outlets violate licence rules. (

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The KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority, which has the mammoth task of policing the province’s 8 000 liquor outlets, is struggling to halt the mushrooming of illegal outlets and widespread violations of liquor licence conditions.

In Pietermaritzburg alone, it is estimated that more than 50% of licensed liquor outlets do not comply with the conditions of their liquor licences while scores of businesses are operating without licences.

Despite the authority regularly conducting blitzes in a bid to ensure compliance, the problems continue, posing a massive security risk to residents living within the areas in which the illegal outlets operate.

The problem saw the Democratic Alliance write to Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala in a bid to get a liquor store operating next to a school in Napierville, in Pietermaritzburg, closed down.

“Reports that the same outlet has now applied for a pub licence are also extremely alarming.

“During [our] inspection it was clear that there is already a problem, with drinking taking place outside the facility in broad daylight. The introduction of a pub or bar will only compound this problem to the detriment of those families living in what should be a residential area only,” DA provincial economic development spokesperson Ann McDonnell said.

McDonnell requested Zikalala to intervene after efforts by the local community to get the liquor store shut down had failed.

“The operating of a liquor store in this environment appears to be a direct breach of legislation in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Act,” McDonnell said.

“Equally concerning is the fact that despite the community and the school having signed a petition, which was then handed to the KZN Liquor Authority, nothing has changed.”

Zikalala’s spokesperson, Bongani Tembe, said the fact that operators continued to flout the Liquor Act despite government having made the violation of liquor laws one of its top priorities, was a major concern.

“We have realised that people continue to operate illegally despite awareness campaigns and other interventions meant to ensure that liquor outlets were licensed and operated within the conditions of their licences.

“Going forward, we will be intensifying the clampdown on those operating outside the law. We are also calling on our partners, including municipalities, the SAPS and communities, to report people not complying with liquor laws,” he said.

The department, Tembe said, will be investigating the Napierville matter

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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