Wine industry requests later date for Western Cape Liquor Act

Monday, 5 March, 2012
Cluver Markotter Inc
The MEC for finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism, Alan Winde, is currently considering a request on behalf of wine industry organisations to delay the date of commencement of the Western Cape Liquor Act from the 1st of April to the 16th of April.
Vinpro, representing primary producers, Wine Cellars SA, representing the producer cellars which manufacture between 75 or 80% of natural wine in South Africa, SALBA, representing producing wholesalers and the SA Wine Routes Forum, representing the various wine routes with their 407 members, have all given their support to a request that the Act be implemented on the 16th of April rather than the 1st to prevent confusion regarding the advertising of applications for new liquor licences to be lodged in April.

According to Danie Cronjé, the Director of Liquor Law at Cluver Markotter Incorporated, the current Liquor Act and the Western Cape Liquor Act both provide for the lodgement of applications for new liquor licences on the 1st Friday of the month.

Due to the fact that the 6th of April is a public holiday the date of lodgement for April has been moved to 13 April. Applicants have to send advertisements to the Government Gazette so that they may be published on the date of lodgement.

According to Cronje if the Western Cape Act commences on the 1st of April the advertisements will have to be submitted at a time when the old Act is still in operation whereas the application itself will be lodged at the time when the new Act has replaced it.

This may lead to confusion.

Cronje who submitted the representations also advised the Minister that many wineries are currently involved in their harvest and may find it difficult to attend to applications which may be required to get their existing liquor licences compliant before the commencement of the new Act.

The request was supported by the Liquor Law Specialist Committee of the Cape Law Society which consists of attorneys who regularly advise clients on liquor law and attend to applications for new liquor licences.