Western Cape Liquor Act to come into operation in January 2011

Monday, 25 October, 2010
Danie Cronje, Cluver Markotter Ltd
According to the Standing Committee of the Western Cape Parliament the Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill (which will amend certain provisions of the Western Cape Liquor Act) will be finalised by the end of November so that it may be approved by the Legislature before the end of the year.
However before the Bill will be finalised there will be a number of public hearings held in different centres in the Western Cape between the 9 - 13th of November.

If everything proceeds according to plan the Act will come into operation between the 15th of January and 1st of February.

According to Danie Cronjé, director of the Liquor Law Department of Cluver Markotter Incorporated the Western Cape Liquor Act still contains certain provisions which will cause problems for the wine industry.

These relate to the leasing of cellar space, applications for temporary and special events liquor licences as well as uncertainty about the reintroduction of an exemption which existed in the 1989 Liquor Act but was removed from the Western Cape Liquor Act.

This exemption allowed producers who made wine from their own grapes in their own cellars to sell the wine to licence holders without the a licence.

Although the reintroduction of this exemption maybe good news for producers it has resulted in a situation where such a producer may not need a liquor licence but a garagiste who manufactures a small quantity of wine for own consumption may need a licence.

In respect of liquor sales hours the Bill provides for default trading hours in circumstances where municipalities do not determine trading days and trading hours. In contrast to the proposed bylaw of the City of Cape Town off-consumption sales will be allowed on Sundays but sales may also only take place until 18h00.

At this stage it is uncertain whether the provision in the draft Regulations which limits the quantity of wine that may be sold to a member of the public on one day to 30 litres has been retained.

According to Cronjé no information is available on whether the draft Regulations have been amended.