Liquor policy evokes strong reaction

Wednesday, 3 March, 2010
Danie Cronjé, Cluver Markotter Inc
The publication of a liquor policy for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in the government Gazette on 18 January 2010 has evoked strong reaction from the owners of restaurants and clubs.
The policy provides that any match during the World Cup broadcast from anywhere except in a private home is considered a 'public viewing event'.

This policy requires that special liquor licences should be obtained for such events and a fee of R50 000 is payable for these so-called 'public viewing areas'.

The policy also requires a 'donation' equal to 2% of the turnover to the National Liquor Authority for programs against alcohol abuse and a 'donation' of 2% of the the turnover to the Provincial Liquor Board to drive such programs.

According to Danie Cronjé of Cluver Markotter Incorported, a few serious defects could render the enforcement of this policy impossible.

Liquor sales, first of all, fall under the control and authority of the different provinces.

The Constitutional Court handed down a judgment a few years ago stating that each province has the prerogative to effect legislation with regards to liquor sales to the public and the use thereof. Any national law that purports to do this is therefore unconstitutional.

This special 2010 World Cup act empowers the Minister of Sport to promulgate regulations.The policy was however promulgated by the Minister of Trade and Industry. This renders the policy invalid. The Western Cape Liquor Board is therefore still the only body that can regulate liquor sales to the public in the province.

If licence holders wish to expand their premises or amend their licence conditions to provide for special events during the World Cup, any such applications should be submitted to the Western Cape Liquor Board as soon as possible in order to be considered before the World Cup kicks off.

This also include any new licences that must be applied for.

On Friday 19 February 2009, Mr Raybin Windvogel, acting Chairman of the Western Cape Liquor Board, announced that these applications, if motivated as such, will be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

Any further queries with regards to changes in licence terms and conditions or applications for new licences can be directed to Danie Cronjé at (082) 772-3517.