Tuesday 2 December 2014

Important - Liquor Licence Renewals in Western Cape

Licence holders who don’t bank with Nedbank

Liquor licence holders in the Western Cape who don’t bank with Nedbank should ensure that they pay their annual renewal fee in one of the following ways :

  • EFT on 28 December 2014 or earlier.   It can take up to 2 days to reflect in the WC Liquor Association’s bank account
  • Cash deposit  at any Nedbank Branch before close of business on 31 December 2014;
  •  “Immediate payment transfer function” of their banks could be used to ensure that the payment will reflect on 31 December 2014;
  • Tip :  EFT payments should preferably be made before 15h00.

All Licence Holders - Take note :
  • Only payments reflecting on or before 31 December 2014 on the WCLA bank statements will be considered to be in time;
  • Payment reflecting after 31 December 2014 will be considered to be late, irrespective of the time indicated on the proof of payment;
  • Late payment will attract a penalty in terms of the Western Cape Liquor Act;
  • Payment of the renewal fee on time remains the licensee’s responsibility, even if no official renewal notice is received.

 The banking details of the Western Cape Liquor Authority can be found here

((Article by LiquorWise)

Friday 14 November 2014

Liquor Store for Town of 8 People!

Liquor Store - Lakeside(Colorado) is a town with a total population of 8 people,  a Walmart and an amusement park(over 100 years old).  Lakeside will now become the home of Molly's Spirits, a high-tech beer, wine and liquor superstore set to open in November 2014.
Molly's owners expect to see the entire town show up for the liquor store's ribbon-cutting ceremony!   The store is described as a destination liquor store – hoping to draw customers from other metro areas.   What will Molly’s Spirits offer?  The latest in retail sales technology :
Check this out :
  • Over a dozen 65" and 30" flat-screens will be mounted throughout the store, displaying live feeds of tastings and demonstrations in progress,
  • video of participating breweries and wineries, and up-to-the-minute store specials.
  • Employees with tablet devices will be available for information as well as check-out, so customers can pay without having to go through a conventional check-out counter.
  • A wireless LCD tag system will keep prices on every item up-to-date and save on printing of traditional paper price labels.

The store was also designed to be energy-efficient
  • insulated slabs beneath the refrigerated areas,
  • LED lighting throughout the store
  • state-of-the-art skylights that can provide additional natural sunlight from above without losing heat through standard glass windows.

Other cool stuff for a liquor store :
  • a C-shaped tasting station designed to mimic the Colorado flag
  • reclaimed champagne riddling racks to display special bottles
  • recycled lumber siding and antler chandeliers
  • a central lounge area with couches where customers can relax or meet guest presenters from beer, wine and spirits manufacturers.
  • Beer will be one of the big focuses, with an expansive walk-in bomber room and 60 doors of cooler space.

The owners promise that the technology is only to back up human interaction. Therefore, staff will be well-versed in educating customers as well as helping them find selections.   They also plan to appeal to women, who they believe are often forgotten customers at liquor stores. 
(Article by Westwood, edited by LiquorWise - Read more on the LiquorWise Blog)

Thursday 13 November 2014

Amendments to WC Liquor Act - Going to Parliament

Liquor Act -  Amendments to the Liquor Act will be introduced to the Provincial Parliament following approval by the WC Cabinet on 12 November.   The main aim of the amendments are to allow easier enforcement of the Act and improve the processing of liquor licence applications.

The main amendments relate to :

  • Introducing new grounds for the closure of licensed premises and furthering the provisions for the search, entry and inspection of licensed premises without the requirement of a warrant and the inclusion of peace officers in the enforcement of the Act;
  • Repealing the provision that prohibits unlicensed persons from having more than a prescribed quantity of liquor in their possession (150 litres);
  • To ensure that a quorum is reached at each Liquor Licencing Tribunal meeting – ad hoc substitute members may now be appointed. The Presiding Officer will be able to delegate  his or her powers or functions.  Up to 3 Deputy Presiding Officers can be appointed, which should allow for much improved turnaround times of liquor licence application approvals;
  • Amendment to the provisions of the Act dealing with temporary and special events licenses;
  • Prohibiting persons under the age of 18 years from being allowed into the restricted areas of premises licensed to sell liquor for consumption on the premises; and
  • Simplifying and clarifying the provisions regarding trading days and hours in instances where a municipality has not determined the trading days and hours for the sale of liquor for consumption on and off licensed premises.

The public and role players in the liquor industry will be able to submit their comments on the bill once it has been published.  

Please contact us for more detail on the proposed amendments.

Sunday 14 September 2014

New Guidelines for Liquor Licence Applications - Western Cape Liquor Board

Liquor Licence Applications -  The Western Cape Liquor Board has published a number of new guidelines relating to various aspects of liquor licence applications.    The first set of guidelines was mentioned in earlier publications and we summarise the second set below :

  • Containers - Licence holders will now be able to use any type of approved container to sell liquor, except in those cases where it is deemed necessary to prevent littering, vagrancy and loitering.   In the latter case, the type of container to be used may be limited in the licence conditions imposed by the Liquor Board.
  • Supermarkets - Any kind of supermarket which sells liquor, must ensure that the area in which liquor is displayed is separate from other areas and cannot in any way be accessed by the public after hours.
  • Alterations - It isn't required to submit an amended floor plan for approval by the Liquor Board if the alterations only relate to furniture being moved around.    
  • Deceased estate - When a liquor licence has to be transferred from a deceased estate, the approved liquidation and distribution account has to be submitted with the usual documents required to transfer a liquor licence.
Please Contact Us for :
  • more detail regarding the abovementioned guidelines or 
  • the first set of guidelines published earlier.

Friday 12 September 2014

Mpumalanga Liquor Act - New Liquor Act in operation

Liquor Act -  The new Mpumalanga Liquor Act (5 of 2006) came into operation on 30 August 2014 in terms of a Extraordinary Provincial Gazette published on 26 August 2014.    The Act introduces a totally new liquor licensing dispensation.   The public, and especially municipalities, will have the opportunity to substantially influence the conditions in terms of which any licence is issued.   

Any person who wants more detail in how the Act may affect new and existing liquor licence holders, can contact LiquorWise.

Thursday 28 August 2014

SA Brandy to benefit from new standards

Liquor law -  The Wine and Spirits Board has legislated changes to brandy production laws. The changes seek to protect brandy's position in the local market by enforcing stricter requirements on how the two styles of brandy - vintage and potstill - are made. 

Top-end potstill brandy competes directly with single malt whiskies and cognac. Single malts must be 100% malt spirit and cognacs must be 100% pot distilled. The local brandy industry wanted similarly stringent parameters for what constitutes a pot stilled brandy to reflect the already extremely high standard of our offerings."

To read the complete article, click here.

(Article from www.bizcommunity.com)

Sunday 10 August 2014

Hartebeespoort Liquor Traders - Important Meeting on Proposed New Liquor Act

Liquor Licensing - All Hartebeespoort Liquor Traders have been requested to attend a very important meeting to discuss the proposed new Liquor Act for the North West Province.   The meeting will be hosted at Magaliespark on Tuesday, 19 August at 11h00.   

Warrant Officer Manie Beukes has appealed to all licence holders and interested parties to attend the meeting to ensure their opinions are noted, failing which the new Liquor Act may be promulgated without their input.   

Interested parties may contact W/O Beukes on (012) 2553 7018

[Notice drafted by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)]

Western Cape Liquor Board - New Guidelines

Liquor Licensing - The Western Cape Liquor Authority has issued a number of new guidelines to assist with liquor licence applications.    

Please Contact Us if you want more detail on any of the topics mentioned below.

These relate to the following :
  • Liquor licences for school premises
  • Changes to licensed premises
  • Liquor licences for market stalls
  • Liquor licences in case of insolvent and deceased estates
  • On & Off consumption liquor licences
  • Temporary and Special Events licences
  • Grocer stores liquor licences
  • Tasting
  • Containers
  • Leasing cellar space
  • Sale of licences by sherriffs
  • Providing free liquor

Judge asks Public Protector to Investigate National Liquor Authority

Liquor Licensing - Judge Piet Ebersohn(Pretoria High Court) has requested the Public Protector (PP) to investigate the handling of wholesale liquor licence applications by the Department of Trade and Industry.  His request relates to a number of court applications by applicants for wholesale liquor licences.   Due to the long delay by the National Liquor Authority (NLA) to consider these applications, the applicants asked the court to order the authorities to consider the applications without delay.
The judge’s issue was that the State Attorney(SA) seemed to oppose these applications for the same reasons which had been ruled against in a number of previous, similar applications.   Irrespective of this, the SA continued to oppose these applications and then proceeded to appoint expensive legal representatives.   
This caused “scandalous” delays and wasted costs, which were against the public interest and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

(Article by Beeld, adapted by LiquorWise)

Sunday 22 June 2014

Shebeens in 1959 - Has much changed?

Liquor Licence -  We came across a very interesting article published by The Observer from their archives, dated 21 June 1959.   We thought LiquorWise members and readers of this Blog might enjoy it as well.   It was written about the phenomenon of Shebeens and the important role it played in the social and economic lives of black South Africans.    It provides a fascinating perspective, although it's also a grim reminder of life in that era.  To read the short article, click here.

Liquor Licence for a Shooting Range?

Liquor Licence -  Will a shooting range in South Africa be granted a liquor licence?   Well, a modern, indoor gun range has applied to become the first shooting range in Oklahoma to serve liquor in their on-site restaurant.   Although it’s difficult to see this ever being allowed in South Africa, other US states, such as California, Texas, Georgia and New York, have allowed it. 

Why would a shooting ranger owner, seemingly unnecessarily, be looking for trouble?     The answer (expected?) – a liquor licence permit would generate higher income from business activities as it will attract meetings and executive functions. 

The owner argues that they have more than sufficient safeguards to prevent any problems.   For instance, customers would be forced to leave their firearms in a locker before having a drink.   This would be seen as a restriction, as Oklahoma citizens are allowed to order liquor while carrying a firearm, on condition that they aren’t intoxicated. 

What about having a drink first and then going to the shooting range?   Owner Swanson says all drivers licences are scanned on entering the restaurant, which will be picked up as soon as anyone tries to enter the shooting range premises after leaving the restaurant.   It is expected that the application will be granted.

(Article by Janelle Stecklein, adapted by LiquorWise)

Wednesday 18 June 2014


Liquor Act  -   The new Gauteng Liquor Act (the “Act”) was signed into law on 7 April 2014.  The Act will only be implemented once the regulations have been approved.   Regulations determine trading hours, fees and fines.  

Some of the most significant changes are :

  • Sunday trading -  Sunday trading in liquor will be allowed;
  • One unit -  Applications will be lodged at one administrative point, compared to the current 6;
  • New categories -  A number of new types of licences have been created – function venues, special events and waterborne vessels;
  • Food – Food has to be for sale on any  licensed on-consumption premises;
  • Plans – Building plans will have to submitted with applications;
  • Taverns & Pubs -  These will form one category.
LiquorWise will keep its members and readers of this Blog updated on progress with the implementation of the new Liquor Act.    Any questions may be forwarded by sending us an email.

Monday 16 June 2014

What do Brazilians drink?

Liquor in Brazil -  We doubt whether anyone will be able to escape “World Cup fever”. We thought you might find a few lighter lines regarding liquor in Brazil interesting. 

What do Brazilians drink?

Beer accounts for 61% of the total consumption, followed by wine (25%), spirits (12%) and ice drinks (2%).   The most popular spirit is cachaça, followed by whiskey and rum.  Besides local consumption, it is estimated that almost one million tourists come to the country to attend the annual carnival, when 400 million liters of beer are consumed.

Brazilian Road Block 

Where and How can you enjoy a drink?

All kinds of liquor can be bought on any day of the week from grocery stores and snack stands.   Drinking is allowed in public places and in motor vehicles, but now prohibited in most soccer stadiums (except for the World Cup).  “Chopp” is the word for draft beer and Brazilian beer drinkers insist that beer is served ice cold (“bem gelada”).   Like many South Africans, Brazilians also order beer in a larger bottle and share it among friends with small cups. 

“Cachaça” - Brazil's national spirit

“Cachaça” – also referred to as “Brazilian rum”, “tiger’s breath”, “the evil one” or “cat choker” - originated in the 1500’s, when locals started distilling it from sugar.  Its different variants make it the third best-selling liquor globally, costing only $1 per litre on average locally.   The cruder varieties (the majority) is said to taste like dirt, which may be why it’s so dirt cheap ?   More refined versions are rumoured to have an earthy taste – grassy with a rustic vegetality - which John Travolta is known to like.  We guess he would prefer an aged cachaça, which is mostly sipped on ice.   Upwardly-mobile citizens are increasingly choosing to drink Caipirinha – a vodka-based variant on the cachaça.  Caipirinha is enjoyed by adding your choice of syrup or sugar, lemon and ice and mixing it all at your leisure...

May we recommend that you enjoy the soccer fever, while savouring  a variety of South African favourites?   Licensed businesses may make use of the opportunity to recover somewhat from the current economic hangover.

(Article by Troy Patterson, adapted by The Licence Co - LiquorWise Division / Photo courtesy of Inforsurhoy.com)

Thursday 12 June 2014

Liquor Licence Holders are getting fined

Liquor fines - Liquor license holders who are not careful, are learning to enforce their license conditions the hard way.  Licensed liquor outlets in Table View and in Paarl were recently fined R60,000 and R20,000 and respectively. This comes on top of fines which were issued to several transgressing liquor outlets in 2013.

The message is clear - make sure you know each license condition and what is required of you in order to comply to your liquor license conditions. If not, you may find yourself paying your Christmas bonuses to the liquor authority!

[Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)]

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Bartenders to battle it out in Cape Town

Liquor  -   The best SA bartenders will be “mixing it up” at the Marly Hotel in Cape Town from 1 to 3 July.  The aim -  to represent South Africa at the Diageo Reserve mixology final in the UK in July.   The global winner will wear the title of the world’s best barman.   Competitors need to know how to blend the flavours of the various components of cocktails and preferably have their own, “signature” cocktail to wow judges with.  

LiquorWise wish all contestants all of the best.   Make us proud!

(Article in Hotel & Restaurant, adopted by LiquorWise)

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Western Cape Liquor Act Survives Challenge

Liquor Law – The Western Cape Liquor Act stood firm to a challenge by the Mitchells Plain Liquor Traders Association when the High Court ruled on Monday (26.5.14) that the sections under fire did in fact comply to the Constitution.   Several licensed liquor outlets in the Cape Metro have lost their on-consumption liquor licences over the past few months, mostly for selling liquor for consumption off the premises.   Authorities promised to continue strict enforcement of the liquor act.

(Article by SAPA, redrafted by LiquorWise)

Sunday 18 May 2014

Distribution licence holders get relief

Liquor laws -  Distribution licence holders have been granted a reprieve from having their trading hours reduced from the current 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   The amendment to Regulation 21 of the Liquor Act (2003) shall now only come into operation in 9 months - on 11 January 2015.   This effectively allows distribution licence holders the opportunity to trade as they have been for another 9 months.  It will also allow municipalities to pass by-laws regulating the hours of distribution licence holders.

Enquiries are welcome and can be forwarded to [email protected]

(Article by The Licence Co - LiquorWise Division)

Flea market stalls - Getting a liquor licence?

Liquor law -  The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division) will be making a submission to the Western Cape Liquor Authority(WCLA) to consider amending the current Western Cape Liquor Act (Act) to allow for the licensing of flea market stalls.    

A stall could easily be licensed by tailoring the conditions of a liquor licence.   It could allow a stall owner to trade only on the days on which the flea market (in any of its many forms) trades, for instance every Saturday from 08h00 until 13h00.    The category for "on and off consumption" liquor licences would allow a stall owner to sell liquor to be consumed on a demarcated area forming part of his/her stall, as well as to be taken away to be enjoyed off the stall premises.

It has been a big issue for stall owners for many years, as liquor licences were only issued to occupants of permanent premises - which could be locked up and left.  This meant that a stall owner had to submit an individual application for each trading day, which often meant 4 times or more per month.   The financial and administrative burden - to the applicant, the SAP liquor officer and the WCLA - was so considerable that it often put a stop to an application before it even reach the paperwork stage.

We are confident of the chances of the proposal being adopted, as the WCLA has been focusing on making the Liquor Act as user-friendly as possible.

As they say - watch this space!

(Article by The Licence Co) - LiquorWise Division)

SAB looking after feminine side of business

Liquor Licence Holders - SABMiller is helping licence holders to give their premises a facelift to the tune of $5million– to make it more female-friendly.  They are focusing on pub owners – giving advice and sometimes funding.     Typically, safety concerns and toilets are the first to get attention.  This is usually followed by improved seating and glasses – woman don’t like to drink from a bottle.   Analysts speculate that SAB is trying to recover market-share losses by getting access to the 17 million SA women of drinking age.
The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division) supports this venture.

(Article by Bloomberg, adapted by LiquorWise)

Time to comment on proposed WC Liquor Act expires on 23 May

Liquor Laws - The public has until 23 May to forward their comments to the WC Liquor Authority.   Those who want to mention any problem or make a suggestion to improve the current Western Cape Liquor Act, can also do so now.   Such issues and suggestion may be addressed in further, more substantial amendments, which are expected later in the year.

Comments can be sent to the following addresses :

(a) by posting it to: Chief Director:  Tourism, Arts and Entertainment, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government
PO Box 979
Cape Town
For attention: Mrs Madeleine Mitchell

(b) by hand delivery: Chief Director:  Tourism, Arts and Entertainment, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government
10th Floor
80 St Georges Mall
NBS Waldorf Building
Corner Castle and Burg Streets
For attention: Ms Madeleine Mitchell

For attention: Ms Madeleine Mitchell

(d) by Fax: 021 483 8776
For attention: Ms Madeleine Mitchell

LiquorWise - a division of The Licence Co - will be submitting comments and proposals and will gladly add yours to those of other role players which have been included.    It may be a case of - "Speak now or forever hold your peace!"

Sunday 13 April 2014

Amendments to WC Liquor Act - Controversial 150 liter per day limit to be scrapped

Western Cape Liquor Act -  The proposed amendments to the Act has just been published for comment.    Click here for a copy of the complete provincial gazette or a comprehensive summary.   The most important proposed amendments affecting the public, are the following : 

No 150 litre per day limit  
A person will be allowed to have any amount of liquor in his/her possession, as long as it is reasonably required by him/her or their family or guests.     Bona fide wine collectors are not limited either anymore.   No more fear of a R100 000 fine or 6 months’ imprisonment!

Temporary and Event licences – longer notice required
It will be required to give 21 days notice before the date of the function (currenty = 14 days). If the late filing of an application is condoned, a 100% fine is payable.

Liquor sold per auction
Confiscated liquor may now be sold by the SAP and a Municipality per public auction.

Inspection by SAP without a warrant
The SAP may inspect a licensed premises without a warrant if the purpose is to ensure compliance with the Liquor Act or licence conditions.

Public Meetings
Public meetings will be held on the following dates and venues to allow the public to provide input on the proposed amendments.   If you, or your clients, have any questions or input to be submitted, we will gladly do it on your behalf. 

Cape Town  -  (Town Hall,  Darling Street – 16 April from 09h00 – 12h00)
George        -  (Town Hall, Banquet Hall, York Street – 22 April  from 10h00 – 13h00)
Saldanha     -   (Diazville community hall – 25 April from 10h00 – 13h00)
(Summary by LiquorWise)

Sunday 30 March 2014

Liquor Licence Fee Increase for Eastern Cape Shocks

Licence Fees – Liquor licensing fees for Eastern Cape liquor licence holders and prospective liquor licence holders, have been increased dramatically - effective from 1 April 2014.   The increase was announced in terms of a special provincial gazette published on 28 March 2014.

The diagram below gives an indication of the increase of fees in the various categories :

Although the fees are more or less similar to the fees charged in terms of provincial liquor acts, it will come as a shock to current and future liquor licence holders of the Eastern Cape.   The increase comes on the back of another increase in the fuel price.  It also follows shortly after the annual increase in excise duties, which inevitable are passed on to the consumer.     (Click here for a humorous view of the Budget increases).

The most worrying is the more than 800% increase in the lodgement fee – from R300 to R2500.   Similarly, the once-off licence approval fee for on consumption liquor licences has been increased from R1000 to R8000.    The same fee for off consumption liquor licences has been raised from R2000 to R5000.  Many would have difficulty seeing the logic of differentiating between licence fees for on and off consumption liquor licences.   The annual liquor licence fee for an on and off consumption licence has been increased more than 1400% - from R200 to R2500!

(Article by LiquorWise)

Monday 24 March 2014

Western Cape Liquor Act to be amended soon

Liquor Act - The Western Cape Liquor Authority has confirmed that it is in the process of amending the Western Cape Liquor Act. The first amendments to be dealt with will be those considered to be of an urgent nature. 

The Liquor Amendment Bill will be published on 11 April 2014.  It will also be advertised in the Weekend Argus and Die Burger of 12 April.    The public and all stakeholders will be able to comment on the proposed amendments.  Public hearings will be held in Cape Town, Vredendal and George.  

LiquorWise will communicate dates and venues as soon as it has been finalized.

Thursday 27 February 2014

Liquor Tax - Does the Finance Minister like Brandy, Wine or Beer?

Liquor Tax -  We thought our readers and members might enjoy a more entertaining side to the liquor statistics contained in the 2014 budget, given its somewhat depressing nature.   We were suprised to find that the Finance Minister seems to prefer beer to wine and brandy and we have the statistics to prove it!

Table A shows that beer has enjoyed the smallest increase in excise duty, compared to brandy and wine, since 1994.

Table B shows that the excise duty as a percentage of the retail price of beer has actually decreased since 1994!    Compare this to wine and brandy, which has experienced an increase.

Whatever you enjoy, one thing remains certain - you are going to pay more for you favourite drink - and the increase won't necessarily be going to your supplier!

Tabel A : Increase in Price and Excise Duty (source : Media24)

Tabel B : "Sin" tax as a percentage of the retail product price

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Liquor Licences for Cinemas?

Liquor Licence -   We wondered whether we would get any reaction from our members and Blog readers to this question, which has been asked more frequently during the past year.   We did some research on the position abroad, specifically in the United States,  where it is becoming increasingly common for movie theaters to sell liquor.   We came across a cinema in the state of Minnesota, which had recently been awarded an expanded liquor licence, allowing moviegoers to imbibe while watching the big screen.

This theater was granted a liquor licence in November 2014,  restricting liquor sales and consumption to a proposed restaurant/lounge area.   They proceeded to request their Liquor Board to expand the licence conditions, which was subsequently approved, subject to two further licence conditions - only one drink may be sold to a person at a time and a representative from the theater is to report back to the Liquor Board within six months.

The Liquor Board expressed concern about, underage drinking and oversight, but these fears were allayed by the assurance that staff members were trained extensively and that the theatre were serious about compliance.   

We doubt whether the large South African cinema companies will apply for liquor licences for their premises. However,  it may be an option for independent cinema businesses and theatres, who could do with additional income and attendance, given the current economic climate.   We have no doubt that it would be appreciated by patrons!
(Article by LiquorWise)

Mpumalanga Liquor Board approves fewer liquor licences

Liquor Law -  The Mpumalanga Liquor Board announced that it had approved 71 out of 758 applications in the past financial year.   This amounted to an approval rate of less than 10%.   The majority of applications were refused due to the proposed liquor premises being situated too close to schools and churches.   Although it was reported that 657 inspections of liquor licensed premises had been conducted, no mention was made of action taken against those not complying to the Liquor Act.   

The  MEC, Pinky Phosa, hinted at the establishment of the Mpumalanga Liquor Authority in terms of the Mpumalanga Liquor Licensing Act of 2006.   However,  this has been mentioned before and no action has, as yet,  been evident.
(Article by Spotongmag, edited by LiquorWise)

Heavy Fines for Ignoring Liquor Trading Hours

Liquor Law – The Western Cape Liquor Authority has issued fines of R50 000 (Springbok Pub – Stellenbosch) and R40 000 (Saldanha Liquors) for trading outside of legal liquor trading hours.   In addition to fining transgressors, a number of liquor traders, from Observatory to George, were closed down in the last year.  This is the result of the Liquor Authority stepping up its campaign against liquor traders who disregard the basic conditions of their liquor licences.

The Western Cape Liquor Authority confirmed that liquor traders with a “blatant disregard” for the Western Cape Liquor Act, will be prosecuted.
(Article by the Argus, edited by LiquorWise)