The currently suspended Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has welcomed enforcement activities carried out by the Western Cape Liquor Authority over the Festive Season.
The activities were to ensure that liquor traders complied with the conditions of their liquor licenses.
According to the most recent report covering the period 10 to 16 January 2022, a total of 300 inspections were conducted, with 143 of these focusing specifically on underage drinking.
These inspections were conducted in a total of 27 areas across the province, including Philippi East, Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain Bellville, Caledon, Constantia, Delft, Grassy Park, Sea Point and Wolseley.
Fritz said the 300 inspections over a seven-day period equates to roughly 43 inspections a day, and that excellent work rate is fairly consistent with the work rate before and during the festive season.
“This means that while many people were on holiday, liquor authority inspectors were out working to ensure their safety. They do this through the important work of ensuring that liquor traders are compliant with the conditions of their licenses,” he said.
“I want to thank them for this dedication to their work,” said Fritz.
For the week covering Monday 27 December last year to Sunday 2 January, a total of 316 inspections were conducted, with 122 focused on underage drinking, said Fritz.
He said these inspections resulted in 11 non-compliance cases being submitted for prosecution.
These inspections were conducted in a total of 31 areas across the province, with integrated operations being conducted with Saps and Law Enforcemenet on New Years’ Eve in Cape Town and Khayelitsha.
“I am also furthermore informed that 93% of license holders have paid the annual renewal fee to ensure that their licenses are valid for 2022, and I want to thank these business owners for their commitment to running their business within the rules. Other license holders have until the end of March to renew their licenses,” he said.
Fritz encouraged them to do so, even though they will now incur penalties.
He also called on South Africa Police Services, once again, to clamp down on illegal liquor traders.
“These illegal liquor traders do not operate within the confines of the law, and I am convinced that many of the alcohol harms suffered by our society emanates from alcohol consumption at unlicensed outlets. We must clamp down on illegal liquor traders this year!” he said.
Fritz urged all liquor consumers to “act responsibly”.
“We know the rules, and the rules are there for our own good. Don’t, for example, get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. And then I would also like to thank legal liquor traders for operating within the confines of the law, for running their businesses in a responsible manner and creating employment for many people,” he said.