Western Cape ups shebeen fines to R100 000

2017-05-31 19:18

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Cape Town - The Western Cape has increased to R100 000 the fine for not abiding by provincial liquor regulations, Premier Helen Zille announced on Wednesday.

This was after the provincial Cabinet approved amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Regulations which pertain to the Western Cape Liquor Act.

“We've been grappling with the Liquor Act, which is one of the most complicated challenges we have to face in this province,” Zille said at a press conference.

“We grappled with the extraordinary challenges of alcohol harms, and yet we don't want to be a nanny state.”

The regulations will come into effect on July 1, and are aimed at not only ensuring compliance with the liquor law, but to encourage illegal alcohol outlets to regularise themselves.

The main change is that the province's liquor inspectors will be able to inspect illegal premises too and issue notices of non-compliance.

Previously they were only allowed to inspect legal premises, leaving it to police to raid the illegal outlets.

This meant licensed premises were being punished and unless the police raided, unlicensed premises were in the clear.

“We are not just going to go thundering in,” said Zille. “We are going to give people time to get compliant.”

By doing this, liquor outlets - whether they are wholesalers, retailers, or side street bars - will have to meet certain standards.

Among these will be proper lighting, and possibly even CCTV cameras to help create a safer environment for women.

The fine was increased because traders generally included the previous amount of R20 000 into their expenses.

“It was often cheaper to be illegal, than legal, and we want to change that,” she said.

“We believe that in every area there has to be properly regulated, decent, safe and clean taverns where people can go and have a drink.”

She hoped the result would be that bar tenders do not serve people already drunk, or pregnant women.

Zille promised that there would be less red tape for compliant liquor holders and for those wanting to appeal licensing decisions.

The licensing authority will also have to give unsuccessful licence applicants reasons in writing for why their application failed.

Read more on:    helen zille  |  cape town

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