Time is running out for wine industry organisations to retain trading hours

Tuesday, 10 January, 2012
Cluver Markotter Incorporated
At the Western Cape Liquor Conference in September the Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism, Mr Alan Winde, announced that quarterly meetings will be held with stakeholders in the liquor industry in the province.
The first of these were held on Thursday, 15 December 2011.

The minister confirmed that everything is on track to put the Western Cape Liquor Act into operation in April.

He also confirmed that operations by the SAPS to enforce the Liquor Act and monitor compliance by liquor licence holders will be stepped up.

It was agreed at the conference in September that policy and legislation for the Western Cape should be based on South African research and data.

Advocate Sanet Botha, the Deputy Chairperson of the Liquor Board, confirmed that the province has finalised the terms of reference for the research to be done.

The meeting included a report back on the progress by municipalities with the drafting of by-laws for liquor trading hours.

Although some municipalities had prepared their bylaws some were still busy and others have not done so yet.

Danie Cronjé, the Director of liquor Law Services at Cluver Markotter Incorporated pointed out that the differences in trading hours which were presented at the meeting confirmed it would be very difficult for businesses which operate throughout the province to be certain of when they may sell liquor.

A representative of the National Liquor Authority, which regulates the large scale manufacturing and distribution of liquor, agreed that an effort should be made to eliminate these differences to avoid confusion.

Cronje also pointed out that retailers would question why wine estates may sell wine on Sunday but they would not be allowed to sell the same wine on Sunday.

He also suggested that the Western Cape Act be amended so that the Inspectorate of the Liquor Board rather than the SAPS would report on applications for new liquor licences.

The minister invited interested parties to submit suggestions on legislation and said that the Act could be amended if required.

According to Cronje time is running out for wine industry organisations to engage with the municipalities and the province to retain trading hours and days beneficial to wine tourism.