No more wine auctions at schools

Monday, 19 May, 2014
Danie Cronje
The Western Cape Liquor Authority recently announced a policy in respect of temporary- and special event liquor licenses in terms of which no such licenses will be granted for functions taking place at school premises or held by a school until the Western Cape Liquor Act had been amended.

According to Danie Cronje, the Director of Liquor Law Services at Cluver Markotter Incorporated, the problem is not actually the Western Cape Liquor Act, but the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act. In terms hereof, no person may bring liquor onto school premises or possess liquor during any school activity. According to Cronje, this goes further than prohibiting the sale of liquor during events aimed at fund-raising.  

The fact that no person may possess liquor means that it is not even permitted to bring one’s own liquor for example during a picnic or braai at the school. It also means that, even if a school function is held at a place other than the school, parents and teachers attending would not be able to drink any alcoholic beverages, even though the premises may have a liquor license which allows the sale of liquor.

Despite the prohibition in the Education Act, the Liquor Authority had been prepared to grant liquor licenses or fund-raising events at schools, provided that the event be organised by a third party and not the school and that it would not be held during school hours.  

The policy, which has now been published by the Liquor Authority, confirms that this is no longer the case and that the Education Act prevents the Liquor Authority from granting such licenses.

Although the amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act which have recently been published for public comment, includes the removal of a provision which prevent special event licenses being granted from schools, the Education Act would also have to be amended to allow alcohol at school premises.

According to Cronje, the appropriate course of action would be for schools to submit representations to the Western Cape Minister of Education requesting an amendment to the Education Act which will allow them to sell liquor at fund-raising activities, such as wine auctions, dances, etc..