Public hearings on the Western Cape Liquor Bill - 4 June 2008

Tuesday, 10 June, 2008
Cluver Markotter Inc / Ing
On Wednesday, 4 June, Danie Cronje, Director of Liquor Law Services at Cluver Markotter, presented submissions for amendment to the  Western Cape Liquor Bill to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Development at the Western Cape Parliament.
A number of the submissions for amendment of the Bill for the benefit of the wine industry, were received favourably.

The Committee accepted the proposed amendment in terms of which holders of off-consumption licenses can also apply for special events licenses for the sale of wine for consumption off the premises.

This means that wine producers will be able to apply for special events licenses to sell bottles (or cases) of wine at festivals such as the National Cheese Festival or Bien Donne Picnic Festival.

The Committee also accepted a proposal that the Bill be amended so that producers who manufacture wine in the cellars of other producers, would not have to apply for permission to do so from the Liquor Board. This will obviously benefit emerging wineries who make their wine in leased cellar space.

The Committee was not convinced that an amendment to allow garagiste wine makers to apply for an exemption from the Act should be accepted but left the door open for Mr Cronje to draft a suggested amendment for consideration.

The Committee did not accept the proposed amendment that the more favourable trading hours (including Sundays) automatically apply to licenses who are currently not entitled thereto (but will be converted to licenses under the new Act which are) when the Act comes into effect.

The effect hereof is that the licence holders would have to apply to the Liquor Board for an amendment of their conditions.

The Committee also indicated that it will reconsider the provisions in the Bill which make it difficult to operate an on- and off-consumption licence next to each other.

A similar provision in the current Act makes it very difficult to obtain licences for a tasting room and restaurant adjacent to each other under the current Act.

The Chairperson of the Committee indicated that it is the intention of the Legislature to have the Act in place by September 2008.