Liquor Trading By-Law - Bad News for Wine Farms

Friday, 10 September, 2010
Cluver Markotter Inc
In July the Cape Town City Council approved its Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law.
According to the City it will come into operation on 1 January 2011.

The by-law contains a number of provisions which will change the current trading days and hours applicable to the tourist facilities on wine farms.

Wine sales in tasting rooms will only be allowed between 09h00 and 18h00.

Currently, tasting rooms may sell wine until 20h00.

Wine farms will not be allowed to sell bottled wine on Sundays.

Restaurants and other facilities where wine is sold for consumption on the premises, will only be allowed to sell liquor from 11h00.

It is unclear until what time liquor may be sold, as the by-law allows function venues, restaurants and tourist facilities on agricultural land to sell liquor until 02h00 but 'wine farms may only sell liquor for consumption on the premises until 23h00'.

The by-law does make provision for the City to determine that liquor may be sold at any day or hour, as it determines. This provision seems to have left open the door for applying for permission to sell bottled wine during extended hours and on Sundays as is currently possible.

According to Danie Cronjé, the Director of Liquor Law at Cluver Markotter Incorporated, however, this is not expected to happen as Mr Taki Amira, the Councillor of the City of Cape Town, responsible for the by-law has advised that "Sunday trading for off-consumption sales was not supported"

Mr Amira also indicated that other municipalities are expected to follow the example of the City.

According to Cronjé, it seems that the time is running out for retaining Sunday sales on wine estates unless interest groups in the wine and tourism industry can change the minds of the City Councillors responsible for the by-law."