Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

Alcohol laws in Western Cape ‘set for major changes’, Premier reveals

Sweeping changes to Western Cape alcohol laws are likely to be submitted next week, Alan Winde has confirmed – here’s what to expect.

alcohol laws in western cape set for major changes premier reveals - Alcohol laws in Western Cape ‘set for major changes’, Premier reveals

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has vowed to end the ‘status quo’ of liquor abuse in the province, confirming that major legislative changes are set to be rolled out soon. Alcohol laws in the south-west will be tightened, as the local government aims to curb a high murder rate and reduce the pressure on beleaguered hospitals.

Western Cape alcohol laws ‘set for major changes’

Winde made the announcement during his State of the Province Address on Wednesday. He confirmed that the ball will start rolling on this campaign ‘from next week’, as the first amendments to regional alcohol laws will be presented to an Assessment Committe. By the end of next month, formal submissions to Cabinet are expected:

“We are pursuing more targeted interventions by amending the Western Cape Liquor Act. These amendments will, directly and indirectly, reduce alcohol harms, as well as improve the efficiency of the Western Cape Liquor Authority. We intend to publish amendments to alcohol legislation for public comment within the next few months.”

“The first of these amendments will be presented to the Regulatory Impact Assessment committee next week – and a formal submission to the Cabinet will be made by the end of March. Targeted interventions will help us to reduce alcohol harms in the province without having to make use blunt instruments like bans.”

“We cannot allow the status quo regarding alcohol abuse and violence to continue in the Western Cape. But we also cannot continue banning alcohol either.”

Premier Alan Winde details plan to fight liquor abuse

This shake-up for alcohol laws looks to clamp down on illicit goods and ensure that liquor vendors are acting responsibly at all times. We reported last year that a raft of amendments was in the pipeline – the most significant of which include:

  • – Permanently confiscating seized liquor – following the payment of an admission of guilt fine.
  • – Implementing changes to liquor licensing fees, making it easier to bring unlicensed businesses in line with the law.
  • – Creating a test within the Act to determine whether alcohol has been sold illegally to an outlet or individual.
  • – Tightening ‘proof of age’ laws and their subsequent enforcement.
  • – Aligning the Act with existing laws to create a uniform and clear definition of ‘illicit liquor’.
  • – Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licenses.
  • – Ensuring that a record of all liquor sales is kept by outlets and prescribe the measure of detail required.
  • – Limiting the delivery of more than the prescribed limit of liquor by inserting a requirement to produce ‘written consent’ to presiding officers.

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Elsewhere, Alan Winde continued to warn about the threat of a third wave of COVID-19, due to hit SA in winter…

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