Fish Hoek residents and tourists in the area are in for a different kind of festive season as they can now buy their liquor from the local family store.
Fish Hoek Family Store, operating as Pick n Pay, has been granted a liquor licence, officially marking an end to the town being “dry”.
Following a Western Cape Liquor Appeal Tribunal judgment, liquor can now be sold at Erf 17653 Fish Hoek, situated at Shop 12, The Arcade, 120 Main Road, Fish Hoek.
In his judgment, tribunal chairperson, Judge Deon van Zyl, says the Liquor Licencing Tribunal was mistaken in refusing the application made by PnP Fish Hoek for a bottle store licence. The Liquor Authority is now obliged to issue a licence for a bottle store to the applicant within 14 days of the application. The judgment was passed on Wednesday 5 November.
Van Zyl says in his judgment that there is no doubt that there is a very real need for a liquor store in Fish Hoek, and its proposed location in the Arcade Centre is appropriate.
“It goes without saying that granting a liquor licence will create a far greater convenience for the public the appellant intends to serve than retaining the status quo. They will certainly not be worse off and there is no proof that it will lead to parking problems or traffic congestion arising from deliveries to the proposed store. It cannot be anticipated that the character or ethos of the town will be negatively affected and there is not the slightest indication that property values will decrease, or crime will increase.”
Van Zyl says the report of the Designated Liquor Officer (DLO) provides ample support for these observations, even though he felt constrained to object to the application on the basis of a vague “social responsibility” that would be foisted on the residents should the application be granted.
Angela Botha of Fish Hoek Tourism says this is good news for business and even better news for tourism. “We will have more tourists now come into the area. Those that wanted to drink had to go into a pub or drive far for their liquor which was not ideal for them so people really didn’t want to do it that way. After we had the judgment people took to Facebook to say what they thought and from my judgment a lot of them are happy. It is indeed really good news,” she says.
However, Donald Moore of Dry Fish Hoek says there is nothing to be happy about. “In my view this is a disaster for Fish Hoek and the inevitable consequence is that there will be further applications for bottle stores and it is likely that they will all be granted unless the citizens of Fish Hoek do rally around and mount a concerted opposition to any such applications. It seems that the judge was of the view that 250-plus objections by Fish Hoek residents was not sufficient reason for refusing the application even though there was no support for the application at the time of the public participation process at the beginning of 2017,” he says.