Saturday 14 December 2013


Liquor Law -  A new liquor by-law was approved by the Cape Town city council on 4 December ( official name =  “The Control of Undertakings that Sell Liquor to the Public by-law”).    It is expected to become enforceable only in February as it first has to be published in the Provincial Government Gazette in January 2014.  
It is ironic that it is nearly two years exactly since the Council approved the first, controversial by-law regarding liquor sales and trading hours.   The business sector, liquor traders and majority of the public vehemently opposed the first by-law, but the Council pushed ahead, regardless.    However, in a fashion which has become standard practice for legislators in South Africa, they had to buck to public opinion(read – 2014 votes) and commercial interest(lower sales = less tax) and amended the law.  
Although common sense has seemingly won the day, liquor traders have now been burdened with the cost of having to apply to extend their current trading hours.   Off-consumption liquor traders may apply for the right to trade on Sundays and to extend their trading hours within certain limits.  On-consumption liquor traders whose premises are not situated in residential areas may apply for extended trading hours within certain limits.

Mayoral committee member, Garreth Bloor, said the city had tried to be sensitive to the need to balance addressing the social impact of liquor trading, without causing job losses and damage to the local economy.

Friday 11 October 2013

New Liquor Trading Hours for Cape Town?

Liquor law -  The public has until 31 October 2013 to comment on an amended by-law (“Draft by-law Control of Undertakings”) mainly dealing with  liquor trading hours of Cape Town businesses.   This follows several public hearings, at which 90% of those in attendance voiced their unhappiness with the current liquor trading days/hours.   Apart from proposals regarding trading hours, the by-law also gives law-enforcement agencies greater powers of enforcement.

This turnaround by the City of Cape Town is welcomed by most members of the public.   Liquor traders, however, complain about having to carry the burden of additional legal fees as they are forced to apply if they want their trading hours amended.    They believe the City of Cape Town should bear this cost, because it failed to implement the will of the majority of Capetonians when the current by-law was finalized in 2013.  If the proposed amendments are implemented, it will mean that liquor trading hours will be the same as they were before the by-law was enacted.   “The public’s perception is that all liquor stores automatically sell until 8pm and on Sundays”, one liquor traders complained.  

The main proposed changes are :
  • Off-consumption licence holders may apply to trade until 8pm and on Sundays
  • On-consumption licence holders may apply to trade until 4am
  • The new by-law requires the display of hours of trade and zoning certificates.

[Article by Michelle Jones(Cape Times), edited by LiquorWise]

Thursday 10 October 2013

Bill to ban liquor ads

Liquor Ads -  Government is adamant to proceed with the banning of liquor ads.  No South African should doubt this anymore as cabinet has approved the advertising of  a draft Bill banning alcohol advertising.  The Bill seeks to restrict the advertisement of alcoholic beverages, and sponsorship associated with alcoholic beverages.
This decision is controversial for a number of reasons, the most important being :
  • Job losses -  Experts estimate that up to 12 000 jobs may be lost at a time when the South African economy can ill afford to lose any jobs. 
  • Research -  A study of 20 countries over 26 years found that alcohol advertising bans did not decrease the consumption of alcohol.

Most South Africans would like to see the ill-effects of alcohol consumption reduced, but don’t believe a ban on advertising would produce the results wanted.   It is believed that alcohol abuse will only be reduced when the socio-economic and unemployment challenges are addressed.
(Article by SAPA, edited by LiquorWise)

Gauteng liquor licence applications to be evaluated much faster

Liquor licence applications -  The proposed new Gauteng liquor act will reduce the time to evaluate liquor licence applications to 49 working days.     This was promised by the Gauteng MEC for economic development, Mxolisi Xayiya, at the launch of the Gauteng Liquor Awareness Month in Boksburg recently.    He also promised an internal database of all licences, which would allow licence fee payments to be allocated accurately.    

Industry role players remain sceptical, as similar reasons were given for the Gauteng liquor board placing a moratorium on all liquor licence applications for about 6 months in 2011/2012.    Turnaround times are not perceived to have improved since the moratorium was lifted.

(Article by The New Age, edited by LiquorWise)

Gauteng liquor inspectors to patrol shebeens

Liquor licence -   Tavern owners in Gauteng should take notice of the legislature’s intention to strengthen the liquor inspectorate when the new liquor act is implemented.    This was announced at the fifth and final public hearing on the proposed new liquor bill at Mabopane.   Tavern owners, however, were more concerned about the inefficiency of the liquor licensing application system as this delayed their entrance into the small business sector.

(Article by Eyewitness News, edited by LiquorWise)

SARS to advise liquor traders

Liquor licence -  The South African revenue service (SARS) has started to engage with liquor traders in advising them on how to be tax compliant to avoid penalties.     It will come as a wake-up call to most small liquor traders as it is estimated that a large number are not registered for income tax.

(Article by The Star, edited by LiquorWise)

Fake Liquor Permits in Gauteng

Liquor licences -  The Gauteng Liquor Board promised to deal severely with those liquor traders using fake permits.    It said that his was one of the biggest factors which is hampering the liquor industry.    The Liquor Board has the co-operation of the SA Police to check compliance by liquor traders in the festive season and will focus on trading hours and the sale of liquor to children.

(Article edited by LiquorWise)

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Liquor Ads Law causes tension between Ministers

Liquor law -  Ministers Fikile Mbalula (Sport) and Bathabile (Social Development) are on opposing sides over the law proposing that alcohol advertising be banned.   National treasury and cabinet tried to end the ministerial deadlock, but to no avail.   Mbalula argued that more than R500m in sport sponsorship will be lost, but Bathabile said the cost which can be contributed to alcohol-related ills amounted to  much more.   It is understood that the departments of social development, health, education, justice, police and trade and industry support the law and want it passed urgently.    National treasury remains a key player, as it somehow has to find revenue to replace the advertising revenue which will be lost.     

(Article by [email protected], edited by LiquorWise)

Liquor licence holders in KZN may have to relocate

Liquor law -   Liquor licence holders in KZN with premises within 500m from schools and religious institutions may be asked to relocate.   This was one of two options open to liquor licence holders, according to KZN MEC for economic development, Mike Mabuyakhulu, when asked about the impact of the new KZN liquor act about to be implemented.   The other was to limit current trading hours to hours when schools and religious institutions are closed.   The new liquor act determines that no alcohol products may be sold within 500m from schools and religious institutions.   

We expect licence holders to kick in their heels if asked to limit their current trading hours and even more so if asked to relocate.

(Article by Bheki Mbanja, edited by LiquorWise)

KZN allows Sunday liquor sales

Liquor law -  Liquor retailers in KZN will now be able to sell liquor on Sundays.   This is the result of the KZN Liquor Amendment Bill having been passed on 29 August.  The new Liquor Act will be implemented on a date published in the provincial gazette.  According to the KZN Liquor Authority, this may take another 2 months.    Liquor stores will be the biggest beneficiaries, as clients who have been buying illegally from mostly unlicensed outlets are expected to return.    Some liquor stores have gone as far as selling via the back doors of their respective premises, citing survival as the main reason.  

(Article by NCE Mkhize, edited by LiquorWise)

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Liquor Licences transform & improve historical town

Liquor licence -   A good example of successfully integrating commercial and aesthetic ideals is the transformation of the Valparaíso downtown historical district.   The catalyst in this process was the granting of ten low-cost liquor licences in the area, followed by a concerted effort from local businessmen and restaurateurs.    The low-cost liquor licences helped the businesses to become more competitive, while the increase in revenue has enabled landlords to improve the historical buildings and public areas.

The low-cost liquor licences resulted in ten licensed restaurants in an area where the vacancy rate was once forty percent.    While this may not be the template  for all  South African towns, many local municipalities can keep this success story in mind when commenting on liquor licence applications.   If liquor licence conditions are enforced by the liquor officer in charge, there should be no reason to oppose the granting of more liquor licensed premises.

(Article from The Times, edited by LiquorWise)

Sunday 11 August 2013

Liquor Stores - New Opportunity to Distribute Liquor?

Liquor distribution -  New business opportunities for liquor stores to distribute liquor in South Africa may be on the cards.   This would be the result if independent beer distributor, Big Daddy’s, wins its case against SAB, which is currently being heard by the Competition Tribunal.   Big Daddy’s (BD) took on SAB in 2004 because it complained that SAB provided discounts to an elite group of 14 distributors selected by the brewer.    This meant that about 1200 smaller distributors had to, and still have to, buy beer and other products from SAB at full price.   It then has to sell it to its clients(bars, liquor stores, restaurants) at the same price.   What makes this situation even worse, according to BD, is that SAB doesn’t deliver in regions it deems to small or too remote(read – “not profitable”).  Furthermore, SAB also dictates delivery times and dates, although retail liquor outlets may want delivery at other, more convenient times or more often. 

Times Live reported that SAB denies BD’s claims and says it stands to lose R729-million a year if these "discounts" were extended to the 1200 independent liquor distributors.   It alleged that it would become an uncompetitive player globally and that  extending the discounts would create a "vicious cycle".

LiquorWise will keep you updated as this landmark case nears it conclusion.  

Visit our Website, Blog or follow us on Twitter for the latest news on liquor licensing and related topics.  The LiquorWise website is the most comprehensive national liquor licensing website, offering all the information you would ever require regarding liquor licensing. 

Thursday 8 August 2013

Liquor Trading Hours Change and Sunday Trading for Cape Town?

Liquor law -  Cape Town residents want Sunday liquor sales and extended trading hours.   This was evident when more than 90 percent of those present at the first round of public hearings asked for it.    Liquor licence holders will smart at this as the majority have always been of the view that there was nothing wrong with the liquor trading hours in the first place.   

It seems probable that the process will end where it started, with liquor licence holders being able to trade as they were before the Cape Town liquor by-law was implemented.   Many liquor licence holders would argue that the many hours and money wasted on this process could have been spent on apprehending illegal liquor traders, which was one of the main aims of  the new Western Cape liquor act.  

We trust common sense will prevail.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Winelands Liquor Store - Licence suspended and fined R10 000

Liquor Store -  The Goudini Kontantwinkel, a liquor store in the Worcester region, has had its liquor licence temporarily suspended and fined R10 000.   The SAP found ID documents and bank cards when searching the premises early in July 2013, which were allegedly retained as security for liquor debt.  A criminal case has been opened against the liquor licence holder, who can be fined up to R500 000 or jailed for up to 2 years if found guilty.

(Article by Business Day, edited by LiquorWise)

Western Cape - Campaign against alcohol abuse

Liquor - The WC Liquor Authority (WCLA) will launch a campaign to promote responsible drinking next week and educate residents about the dangers of alcohol abuse.   It has participated in town festivals recently to engage with the public, handing out breathalyzers and information booklets. The awareness campaign will start in Malmesbury and end in Mossel Bay at the end of August.

Training for all Western Cape liquor licence holders

Liquor licence holders - The Western Cape government has promised to host training programmes for all of its 8 131 liquor licence holders to ensure they will be aware of the requirements of the new Western Cape Liquor Act.  MEC Mr Alan Winde said liquor traders need to be educated about their responsibilities.   It aims to use the new Western Cape Liquor Act to regulate legal liquor trade and to root out noncompliant liquor traders. 

Friday 26 July 2013

9000 Year Old Beer Recipe !

Beer – Wits students decided to brew beer to an ancient recipe, deducted from material which a US archaeologist found in pottery jars dating back to the Stone Age.    They brewed about 20 litres with an alcohol content of 8%.Wits professor, Antony Higginson, said that besides giving one a feeling of euphoria, it was also much safer to drink than any other liquid in ancient times.     

We wonder which name our readers would suggest as fitting for this special beer?   Come on, tell us what you think!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Liquor Store must be shut down - Blue Downs Residents

Liquor Store - Residents of Blue Downs have applied for an urgent court interdict to have a new liquor store, Ernie’s Liquor Store, shut down.   The liquor store  was to have opened for business on 15 July.  Judge Dennis Davis postponed the court application to allow other parties, such as the Western Cape Liquor Authority, to respond.  

The main objection is that the liquor store is situated next to a church, opposite a mosque, close to a crèche and close to a high school.   Although the premises is correctly zoned for business purposes, the various parties representing the community feel that the application should never have been granted.    Objections were allegedly forwarded to the Liquor Authority for consideration with the liquor licence application. 

The matter is expected to be heard either on Thursday or Friday.

(Article by [email protected] (Cape Times), edited by LiquorWise)

Monday 15 July 2013

Liquor Store in trouble over ID books for liquor debt

Liquor Store -  The SAP confiscated ID documents, bank cards and SASSA cards when executing a search warrant on a liquor store in the Winelands region recently.   The owner allegedly withheld the documents of farm workers until their liquor debt had been settled.   A two-year jail sentence or a fine of up to R500 000 may be imposed for such an offence.   This action follows soon on the heels of a warrant executed on a Saldanha Bay liquor store for allegedly selling liquor illegally to unlicensed traders (read article on our Blog below).

The Western Cape Liquor Authority encouraged the public to report illegal behaviour by licence holders to it or their local police office.   

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Western Cape Liquor Act - Important On-Site Requirements

Liquor Act - Liquor licence holders in the Western Cape must ensure they comply to a number of basic, on-site requirements stipulated in the new Western Cape Liquor Act (“the Liquor Act”) to prevent them being issued with a compliance notice or fined.    One of the most important requirements refer to the sign to be displayed on the premises and refer to the following :

A sign must be displayed on the front door or window of the licensed premises in characters not less than 5cm in height and must contain the following :

The name of the premises
As shown on the licence.

The type of licence issued
Indicate “On Consumption” (restaurants, pubs, sport bars, clubs, function venues, taverns) or “Off Consumption” (liquor stores, supermarkets, wine shops)

The trading hours
These are the hours determined by Municipal By-Law (Contact Us for the trading hours in a municipal area).   If no by-law has been passed, the following Liquor Act trading hours are applicable :

On Consumption -  11h00 – 02h00 (Mon – Sun)
Off Consumption -  09h00 – 18h00 (Mon – Sun)

The Licence Number
This is the number on the licence or renewal notice which is preceded by the capital letters – “WCP”.

Contact LiquorWise for advice on compliance to the Western Cape Liquor Act.

Monday 17 June 2013

Bartender of the Year

Liquor – Western Cape bartender, Nick Koumbarakis, was awarded the prestigious title of Bartender of the Year at the Diageo Reserve World Class competition held in Durban recently.    He will represent South Africa at the finals from 4 July to be hosted on board the Azamara Journey cruise ship while cruising the M.Ed.    The term “Mixology” was unknown a few years ago, but one can currently choose between a number of bartending acadamies offering comprehensive courses in the techniques of serving all kinds of wonderful cocktails.    The winner of the world event can expect to become a household name in the industry, travel the world and practice his trade at high profile events.

LiquorWise wishes Nick all of the best and knows he will do SA proud.

Thursday 6 June 2013

KZN Liquor Licence Holders Raided

Liquor Act Compliance  -  Six liquor licensed outlets were closed down and fines worth R20 000 issued to non-compliant licence holders.   This followed a combined raid on 57 licensed outlets by the SAP, KZN Liquor Board and the Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality on 4 June.  Taverns, Restaurants, Manufacturers and Liquor Distributors in the greater Durban area were targeted.   

Spokesmen for the National Liquor Authority (NLA) and the KZN Liquor Board warned that more raids would be conducted in future.   They expressed concern that liquor licence holders seem to be ignorant of important information regarding their licence conditions.

LiquorWise remind liquor licence holders that it is their duty to ensure they are aware of their licence conditions, as well as sections of their provincial Liquor Act applicable to their specific business.   Contact LiquorWise for free advice on Liquor Laws.

(Article by, amended by LiquorWise)

Friday 31 May 2013

Mpumalanga budgets R6.6m for New Liquor Board

Mpumalanga liquor licence applications Mpumalanga MEC Phosa told the provincial legislature that R6.6 million have been budgeted for the establishment of the new Mpumalanga Liquor Authority.  

MEC Pinky Phosa also added that the Mpumalanga Liquor Board issued 71 new licences from 758 applications in the 2012/2013 financial year.   Spokesman Mohau Ramodibe explained that the majority of rejected applications were as a result of outlets being situated close to schools or places of worship.    MEC Phosa also announced that R6.6 million have been budgeted for the establishment of the new Mpumalanga Liquor Authority.   

Does Mpumalanga need a new Liquor Board?   Do you expect the new Liquor Authority to be more efficient that the current Liquor Board?   

(Article by Dale Hes, Edited by LiquorWise)

Saldanha Bay Liquor Store may be fined R500 000

Liquor Store -   The Western Cape Liquor Authority obtained and executed a search and seize warrant earlier this week for a Saldanha Bay liquor store.    The liquor store had been suspected of illegally selling liquor to local shebeens.   If found guilty, the Liquor Authority will ask for the maximum penalty, which is a fine of R500 000.    The Liquor Authority has warned of similar operations in the near future and that legal traders who break the law will be caught.

(Article by Eyewitness news, Edited by LiquorWise)

Thursday 30 May 2013

Liquor Board Promises End to Backlog with 6 Months

Liquor licence applications -  Frustrated liquor licence applicants was promised relief by Western Cape finance, economic development and tourism, MEC Alan Winde, this morning.     He committed his administration to cut unnecessary red tape and wipe out the backlog of liquor licence applications within the next 6 months.    He emphasized the government’s aim of assisting those applicants who are attempting to legalise their businesses.   The announcement comes at a time when the provincial government is under increased pressure to deliver on one of the main promises of the new Liquor Act – to promote the entry of new licence holders and to ensure the responsible use of liquor.

Although no accurate data has been made available, it is believed that the backlog extends to between 2000 and 4000 applications of all types.  Western Cape Liquor Authority CEO, Thys Giliomee, said that the public and role players will be informed of progress in addressing the backlog.   He also promised an improvement in the level of service of the liquor authority.

He said that the key to having applications considered more quickly is for applicants to ensure that every requirement of the application process is met before submitting their applications.

This confirms that a prospective applicant needs to ensure that he or she makes use of the services of a professional and legally qualified licensing consultant – such as LiquorWise.    Too many applicants have found out the hard way that “cheap” often ends up being “expensive”, when their defective application is delayed or refused.    

Contact LiquorWise today for assistance with any liquor licence application.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Should Liquor Ads Be Banned?

Liquor Ads - Will the banning of liquor ads help to curb excessive liquor consumption?   The national health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, is adamant to continue his crusade to stop the advertising of alcoholic beverages. He plans to present draft legislation to Parliament this month.  He stands to run afoul of a large number of businesses whose main income is in some way involved with the sale of liquor.  

It was recently reported that more than R2 billion is spent on liquor advertising in South Africa.   Sport sponsorship accounts for 30% of this amount.    SAB nearly doubled its spend – from R547 million in 2011 to     R816 million.  This begs the question why businesses are prepared to spend such vast amounts on liquor advertising?

The answer is quite simple, according to an article by Bhekisisa Mncube in          recently.   He recited Richard Polley, recognised authority on advertising matters, who insists that advertisers present information in a way that is easily absorbed so that we do not have to do a lot of thinking in order to take in the concept and apply it at a later time subconsciously.    Are role players in the liquor industry therefore aware of the effect of alcohol advertising?  

The public have been presented with numerous reports and studies on the role of liquor in driving-related fatalities and crime.   Anyone would be hard pressed to deny the cost of alcohol related incidents, both on an emotional and financial level.  

However, despite all the reports, studies and emotional rhetoric, the question still remains – will a ban on alcohol advertising reduce the consumption of liquor?   Furthermore, will it induce responsible behaviour by those who consume it?    

Tell us what you believe.

(Article by LiquorWise)

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Flavoured Beer?

Beer.  You may be excused for suspecting a prank from your drinking partners when they offer to buy you a "flavoured" beer.   You would be wrong.  Ask any of the growing number of beer drinkers who are choosing “ales” and “stouts”  at their local pub or liquor store.   They are enjoying “ales” and “stouts”, some with subtle aromas such as bacon or blueberry.   

Traditionally, South Africans mainly drink “lager” beer.  An increasing number are slowly waking up to the wonderful new flavours and textures of “ales” and “stouts” offered by micro-breweries.

Micro-brewers are inclined to experiment a lot more than the bigger commercial lager brands.   You may therefore find micro-brewed beers with a subtle aroma of bacon or blueberry.   Some may be very dark in colour and may have significant higher alcohol content.   Quite a few are catering to the female market, offering chocolate-flavoured beer and ciders.

The “proof of the pudding” will always be in the tasting and it is no different when it comes to beer.   The response of the South African beer lover seems to indicate that he/she has been won over by the variety of beers offered by micro-breweries.

Have you ever had the chance to taste a beer other than your lager favourite?    If not, you owe it to yourself to do so.   Go ahead - it may be the next big thing in cool!

(Article by LiquorWise)

Tuesday 9 April 2013

LiquorWise on Radio Programme about Western Cape Liquor Act

LiquorWise was invited to discuss the liquor licensing issues on South Cape FM on 8 April 2013.   The regular Monday afternoon slot (4pm - 5pm) for discussing interesting legal topics is hosted by attorney Louise Luterek.    Listeners may phone in, sms or email their questions to the guest.

A number of interesting matters were discussed, such as :
  • The increased public participation brought about by the new Liquor Act;
  • The involvement of the local municipality in reporting on the status of premises to be licensed or on complaints it received from residents about a licensed premises;
  • The protection afforded to minors (younger than 18 years);
  • The heavy jail sentences and fines which can be imposed;
  • Unresolved issues, especially relating to the licensing of shebeens;
  • The licensing process under the new Liquor Act;
  • Whether the new Liquor Act passed its first 12 months (1 April 2012 - 1 April 2013)?
  • The history behind the implementation of the new Liquor Act
LiquorWise' legal advisor stated that it was clear that a lot still needs to be done to address important issues before it may be said that the new Liquor Act fulfilled expectations.    A number of important amendments will probably only be passed into law at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014.  

Presenter attorney Louise Luterek promised listeners that this programme will be followed by a further discussion soon, as it was clear that a lot remains to be said and the public are very interested to air their views.