Tuesday 6 October 2015

Western Cape Liquor Act - Enforcing liquor licence compliance

Western Cape Liquor Act -   In a demonstration of an intention similar to that displayed over the weekend by their Mpumalanga counterparts, Western Cape police destroyed 10 000 litres of liquor on 5 October.   The liquor had been confiscated over the past few months from illegal liquor outlets.  

The value of the confiscated liquor allegedly amounts to hundreds of thousands of rands. Police vowed to raise the level of enforcing compliance to the Western Cape Liquor Act and other liquor related legislation during the next few months. 

(Article & Photo published by EyeWitnessNews, edited by The Licence Co) 

Monday 5 October 2015

Western Cape Liquor Licence Holders may expect backlash

Western Cape Liquor Act – The hearing of the liquor licence holder of Osi’s Place – a Khayelitsha tavern – by the Western Cape Liquor Licensing Tribunal has been widely reported in all media.   The emphasis in reports have rightly focused on the death of eight women, as well as the probability of the liquor licence in question being cancelled.   The effect of the evidence led in the hearing is, however, likely to have a much more lasting effect on liquor licence compliance in the Western Cape than the initial uproar.

Liquor licence holders can expect designated liquor officers (DLO) throughout the Western Cape to be under a lot pressure to ensure a high level compliance to their liquor licence conditions.   The view is that neglect to enforce compliance of seemingly less important conditions typically lead to non-compliance of more serious conditions.  This follows the DLO’s alledged lack of action in case of minor transgressions over time in the case of Osi’s tavern.  A common theme of dangerous situations is overcrowding.   It can therefore be expected that municipal authorities will be asked to assist by clamping down on liquor licence holders who do not comply to municipal by-laws, especially those relating to the issuing of population certificates and safety of crowds. 

The message to liquor licence holders is clear – ensure you comply to your licence conditions or face the possibility of harsh penalties.  

Mpumalang Liquor Act enforced vigorously

Liquor ActThe Mpumalanga Liquor Act has probably never been enforced more vigorously than during a “blitz” over the weekend of 2 October 2015.   The following agencies inspected 33 liquor outlets :
  • ·         National Liquor Authority
  • ·         Provincial Liquor Authority
  • ·         DTI officials
  • ·         SAPS
  • ·         Department of Home Affairs.

This resulted in no fewer than 14 being closed down, as well as 24 compliance notices and fines of R31 500 being issued.   Outlets across the entire liquor licence spectrum were targeted and included wholesale distributors, manufacturers, restaurants and taverns.   The outlets were situated in Middleburg, Mhluzi, Vosman, Lynnville, Ackerville and Witbank.  
The liquor outlets were inspected due to suspected non-compliance to the National Liquor Act and the Mpumalanga Liquor Act, according to NLA’s Advocate Nkosi.   The increased prevalence of the illegal leasing of liquor licences were found to be a cause of concern.  
The wide legislative “net” cast by these authorities has proven to be extremely effective due to very little leeway offered to non-compliant liquor outlets.   We predict that this pattern of action is set to continue as authorities want to emphasize the message that any illegal behaviour relating to liquor will not be tolerated.    
(Article by www.allafrica.com, edited by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill - Public to comment

Liquor Law - The public have the opportunity to comment on the the Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill at publice meetings at the following venues and times :

George - 8 September 2015 (09:00 – 13:00) at George Town Hall, 71 York Street, George

Robertson - 9 September 2015 (11:00 – 16:00) at Robertson Town Hall, 52 Church Street, Robertson

Cape Town - 11 September 2015 (09:00 – 13:00) at The Chamber, 6th Floor, 7 Wale Street, Cape Town

For enquiries/ or a copy of the Bill, please contact LiquorWise on - [email protected].  

New Liquor Law for Limpopo Province published for comment

Liquor Law - The new, proposed Liquor Act for Limpopo Province was published for comment on 26 June 2015.   Anyone interested in how it may affect current and/or proposed liquor licence holders in the Limpopo Province can contact LiquorWise at - [email protected]

New Liquor Law for North West Province Withdrawn

Liquor Law -  The new, proposed Liquor Act for the North West Province, which was published for comment on 26 August 2015, was withdrawn on 1 September 2015 for reasons unknown.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Eastern Cape proposes New Liquor Law

Liquor Law -  The MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism for the Eastern Cape published the "Eastern Cape Liquor Amendment Bill, 2015" on 31 July 2015.   Members of the public only had 14 days within which to comment on the Bill.   This period is extremely short, as the general public may only have learnt of its existence by chance, such as reading one of the newspapers which choose to report on it. Once the Bill is signed into law, it will be known as the "Eastern Cape Liquor Authority Act, 2014" and will replace the current liquor act - the "Eastern Cape Liquor Act (10 of 2003).  

Please contact us if you have any questions on how the proposed new liquor law may affect current and / or proposed liquor licence holders in the Eastern Cape, may contact us on - [email protected].

New Liquor Law for North West Province Published

Liquor law -  The North West Province Liquor Licensing Bill was published on 26 August 2015 in an extraordinary provincial gazette.    The Bill will become law once the MEC publishes a date for implementation.   It will probably be implemented in stages, with the sections dealing with the establishment of a Liquor Authority to be first.   Once the administrative structures have been put in place, the MEC will announce a date for the implementation of the remainder.  

As reported before, there are a number of sections which might be deemed controversial.   One of these is the closing time of 0h00 for all on consumption premises.  We will not be surprised if the  Liquor Act is amended soon after being implemented to accommodate on consumption business by extending their liquor trading hours.   Another is the discrepancy between the closing times of liquor stores (20h00), compared to supermarkets(17h00).   All off-consumption liquor outlets are prevented from trading on Sundays.  

Please forward any comments or questions regarding this new liquor law to us and we'll endeavour to reply as soon as possible.

(Article by The Licence Co)

Mpumalanga Liquor Licence Holders - Renew before 30 September or you may be fined

Mpumalanga Liquor Act ("Liquor Act") - Mpumalanga liquor licence holders should take note of the new requirements to renew their liquor licences.   Liquor licences are not renewed by merely paying the annual liquor licence fee, as was the case under the previous, 1989 - Liquor Act.  The new Liquor Act,  introduced at the end of August 2014, requires licence holders to apply to have their licences renewed no less than 90 days before a licence would expire.   The application has to be accompanied by proof of payment of the annual liquor licence fee.   This means that all Mpumalange Liquor Licence holders have to submit a licence renewal application on or before 30 September 2015, with proof of payment of the annual licence fee for 2016.   Failure to do so, may lead to heavy penalties.  Worse still, the renewal application may not be considered until proof of payment is presented.

The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division) urges all Mpumalanga Licence Holders to proceed with lodgement of their liquor licence renewal applications without delay to prevent having to pay penalties and possibly jeapordise the validity of their licences.  

(Article by The Licence Co) 

Mpumalanga Liquor Act : New Liquor Regulations - Again!

Mpumalanga Liquor Act -  New regulations has been published by the Premier for the second time since the new Mpumalanga Liquor Act was introduced at the end of August 2014.   The new regulations mainly rectify a number of administrative oversights with the drafting of the original forms.   However, of more concern to the general public and licence holders should be the increase in licences fees in general.  

The lucrative and growing micro-manufacturing sector has been targeted, with licence and renewal fees having been increased by between 400% and 500%!

[Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)]

New Offices for Western Cape Liquor Authority

Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) -   The WCLA moved into its new premises at the start of July 2015.   The offices (reception) is situated on the third floor of the well-known Sanbel building, Voortrekker Road, Bellville - opposite the massive head office of international life assurer - Sanlam.

Most Capetonians will welcome the move, not least because of the traffic nightmare when faced with having to drive into the Cape Town CBD at any time of day.   It is arguably more central to the majority of Capetonians and parking is sure to be much less of an issue!

We at LiquorWise are smiling - our Bellville office is but a stone's throw from the new WCLA offices!  We wish the WCLA a happy and productive stay. 

(Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)

Link between Liquor & Looks?

Liquor -  Is there a connection between alcohol consumption and “perceived attractiveness”?   We'll bet 9 out 10 people would say yes.   In a recent stuy by Bristol University, 311 people from three local liquor outlets were screened – in a pub environment.    They had to rate the attractiveness of faces using a tablet and had to submit to breathalyser tests.    

 The conclusion – no evidence to suggest a link between alcohol consumption and perception of attractiveness.    While most people seem funnier to themselves, as well as to others, having consumed alcohol, we doubt whether they seem more attractive.    You be the judge.  
(Articel by The Licence Co, source - www.thespiritsbusiness.com)

Sunday 5 July 2015

Shoprite loses liquor licence case in Constitutional Court

Liquor Licence -  Shoprite will have no choice but to stop selling liquor in its supermarkets in the Eastern Cape.  This follows the ruling by the constitutional court on 30 June 2015 that the Eastern Cape Liquor Act (“the Liquor Act”) had not arbitrarily deprived Shoprite of its property - its liquor licences.  

The run-up to this judgement can be summarised as follows.  Shoprite was granted grocer’s wine licences in the Eastern Cape between 1989 and 2003. The Eastern Cape Liquor Act(“Liquor Act) came into force in 2004.   It determined that grocer’s wine licences would be valid only until 2014. However, licence holders could apply before 2009 to convert these licences into licences allowing them to sell all kinds of liquor on separate premises.   Shoprite alleged that this would result in it being deprived of its property – its liquor licences. 

The Concourt found that a liquor licence qualifies to be regarded as property.  Furthermore, that Shoprite was not totally deprived of this property.   Shoprite still had the chance to convert these licences. In reality, Shoprite would have to transfer any converted liquor licence to premises outside of its supermarkets.  This would not be practical, as they already have their own liquor stores adjacent (or close) to most of their supermarkets.

The Concourt also found that the change in the licensing system affecting supermarkets did not extinguish any other fundamental constitutional rights or values of the licence holders.   Furthermore, if the change in the licensing system was found to be rational, there could not be any arbitrary deprivation of property.   It found that it was rational to change the licensing system in order to simplify it and that courts should not easily interfere with the choices made by legislatures.

(Summary by The Licence Co)  

Liquor Licence = Property

Liquor Licence  The Constitutional Court on 30 June 2015 held that a grocer’s wine licence constitutes property.   Nine of the eleven judges agreed that the right to sell liquor bears many of the traditional characteristics of property. They stated that our conception of property must be derived from the Constitution. The wider implications of the judgement will only become clear over time as our courts are asked to enforce this judgement.

Read more about the facts of the case on our Blog here.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

National Liquor Policy - Period to comment extended

Liquor Policy - The initial 30 day period to comment on the draft National Liquor Policy has been extended to 13 August 2015.    The Department of Trade and Industry reported that they decided to allow more time for comment after consultation with SAB and SALBA (SA Liquor Brands Association).

The National Liquor Policy has been widely criticised by industry role players.  

Read the full article here on the proposed National Liquor Policy.

Liquor Ad - Spar vs PJ Powers

Liquor Ad - PJ Powers has taken on the Spar Group because Spar used her name in an advertisement for Tops Liquor Stores without her consent.   She is a well-known recovering alcoholic and such publicity will damage her reputation, according to her manager.   Spar said the advertisement was part of a larger campaign incorporating a pajama party theme.  Spar has apologised if the advertisement was offence to anyone. 

(Article by Newswatch, Photo eNCA, compiled by The Licence Co)

Saturday 30 May 2015

Liquor Store owners fight for lottery winnings

Liquor stores – Liquor store owners should ensure they have evidence of agreements to share lottery winnings from tickets bought at their liquor stores.   This is clear from a number of current disputes declared by lottery winners in the US who refuse to share their winnings with the owner of the liquor store where the respective tickets had been bought.  This, after promising to share when buying the tickets.  The winnings range between R3,5m up to R10m.  
Likewise, local supermarket owners in South Africa should take care to ensure they at least have the most basic details, such as a name, a percentage share, a date and a signature on hard copy.  It would probably even be ok to video such an agreement with a cell phone?  It seems it's much easier sharing potential winnings, than the hard cash...  

Liquor Ban on Beaches to be lifted

Liquor law – The current liquor ban on Auckland beaches will be lifted from 1 November on all beaches, except for those in areas with a high crime rate or where residents object on strong grounds.    
In South Africa,  the general rule is that no drinking of alcoholic beverages in public is allowed, such as beaches and public open areas.   Drinking in municipal and provincial areas are governed by Municipal by-laws and Provincial LiquorLaws for specific areas.   
It is estimated that more than a 1000 spots along the Auckland coast will become available for sundowners and biscuits.  This may include some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as Takapuna Beach. 
The expected lifting of the ban will follow the compulsory review of the alcohol by-law in June and July, caused by the creation of the Auckland Super City.   In the meantime, anyone transgressing in a banned area, can still be fined $250 on the spot!  

(Article by NZ Herald, edited by LiquorWise)

Sunday 24 May 2015

National Liquor Policy – Proposed Amendment of Liquor Laws Criticised

Liquor LawThe proposed amendments to the National Liquor Act are contained in the draft National Liquor Policy - published for comment on 20 May 2015. Initial reaction by reputable commentators has been negative.  Industry role players haven't commented officially, yet.  

The main policy considerations listed in the document are :

1. Restructuring the liquor industry,
2. Giving priority to facilitatio of entry and empowerment of new entrants, and
3. To better reflect on all social an economic costs associated with liquor abuse.

We list the most important amendments and comment in brief on the implications thereof.  

Licence holders may be held liable for damage caused by their customers

The question is how a court will - legally - contribute the behaviour of a person to the supplier of a legal substance?    As one commentator aptly put it – will Pick ‘n Pay be held liable for a murder committed with a steak knife bought at one of its stores?   One can think of many more absurd examples.  It is bound to scare away, rather than attract new entrants to the industry.

Increasing the legal drinking age from 18 yrs to 21 yrs

The question is how someone can be deemed to have the necessary judgement to exercise his/her vote, but not old enough to choose what to drink?    Studies abroad have shown that raising the legal drinking age does not alter the drinking patterns of heavy drinkers.   In another instance, it only lead to a 6% reduction in the number of university students consuming liquor.

No liquor outlets within 500m from churches & schools

It is illogical and impractical to link any fixed distance between liquor outlets and certain institutions to alcohol abuse.  Why would a school boy, on his way to buy liquor, turn around because the liquor store is situated 600m (and not 500m) from his school or residence?   The answer is simple – he will not.   It is even more ridiculous to suggest that outlets within 500m of these institutions should have their licences cancelled after two years – if they haven’t moved by then.   This column regrettably does not allow for full comment on this proposal, save to say that it will not withstand the test of our constitution and established legal principles.   Members of Liquor Boards have the training and experience - they should be trusted to exercise their judgement in each individual application. 

Limiting liquor trading hours

The trading hours of the majority of liquor outlets coincide with times of the day when the citizenry are economically active.   It is na├»ve to believe that people will adapt their behaviour to when it conflicts directly with their social and economic interaction.  The e-toll saga is a good example, as are the prohibition era in the US and our own restrictive liquor policies during the apartheid era. The public would rather buy from illegally operated outlets or order more liquor before closing time.    

BBBEE – Codes

Much is made of the enforcement if these codes in the proposal.   It is seen as the main mechanism to drive transformation.  The irony is that these codes were withdrawn within a week of being published earlier this month.  The current codes haven't presented an obstacle to new entrants into the market. We trust the new codes won't have a negative effect when implemented.   

Trust fund

A trust fund to be used to combat alcohol abuse is proposed.  The industry will contribute a percentage to the fund, to be determined by the Minister of Trade and Industry (after consultation).   The state will have direct oversight and control over the fund and activities to be implemented.  It is foreseen that a government agency will be established for this purpose.   Governments in general have poor track records in managing these kind of funds.  This looks like a mechanism to fund the additional staff members required to build the staff capacity referred to in the policy document.    It is no less than another form of tax being added to an already overtaxed industry. 

In conclusion

Licensing is set to become even more expensive and onerous as it will become more difficult to comply to legislation.   It will become more difficult for small business to enter the market due to higher cost and risk. 

The emphasis of all role players should be on influencing positive social norms and values.   This will influence drinking patterns to a much larger extent than legislation requiring a host of new administrative infrastructure. If the energy required to implement the above proposals could be spent on promoting positive social behaviour (which is one of the proposals), chances are that we'll be much closer to reaching the goals set in this policy document.  

(Article by LiquorWise, adapted from Network24 articles & Government Gazette notice 446 / 2015)

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Sea Point Liquor Licensed Outlets under spotlight

Liquor Law -  Concerns have been raised, alledging that the local Sea Point police have not issued any fines to licensed businesses since January 2015. However, station commander, Colonel Mahloko said that no fewer than 13 operations have been carried out.  During these, 180 outlets were inspected. have been pitted against law enforcement over the area’s liquor trade.

Agulhas Municipality - Proposed new Liquor Trading Hours

Liquor Trading Hours - The Agulhas Municipality has published a notice to amend the liquor trading hours for businesses licensed for off-consumption – liquor stores, supermarkets, wholesalers, etc.    The current trading hours for off-consumption businesses are from 09h00-18h00 Monday-Saturday  and 09h00 -16h00 on Sundays.   The proposed, new liquor trading hours are 08h00 – 20h00 on Monday to Saturday.  

No Sunday trading will be allowed under the proposed changes.   The suggested hours seem to propose a straight trade – off between offering longer trading hours during the week and taking away Sunday trading.  

(Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division)

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Unlicensed Liquor Outlets in Gauteng Prosecuted

Liquor License -   The councilor for Weltevreden Park,  Amanda Forsythe,  has been instrumental in the prosecution of 5 illegal, unlicensed liquor outlets in her ward over the last few months.   However, Pastor Douglas Forsyth from the Weltevreden Park Chapel is still unhappy with a liquor store which is situated within 500m from his church.  He complains that the Liquor Board has not responded to his efforts to contact them.  The Liquor Board has a discretion to grant a liquor license to a liquor outlet within 500m  of places of worship and educational institutions.    The Gauteng Economic Development Department responded that their main aim was to make sure everyone who was trading had a licence and they intend being stricter in applying the liquor law in an effort to try an limit the negative impact of liquor outlets in residential areas.

 (Article from The Citizen, edited by The Licence Co)

Sunday 22 March 2015

Craft Beer from Stellenbosch = World's Best

Craft Beer - The Stellenbrau Craven Craft Lager has been chosen as the best lager in the world - at the recent Global Craft Beer Awards in Berlin.  Brewmaster, Deon Engelbrecht, attributed his success to comprehensive research, passionate partners and sufficient capital.  He believes it is more difficult to produce craft beer than to make wine, as the process to produce craft beer has to be repeated many more times than when producing wine - making it more difficult to achieve the same taste every time. 

He is adamant that the term - "micro brewer" - doesn't have anything to do with the size of a brewery, but rather relate to what the brewer does and how he/she does it. 

LiquorWise - the liquor licensing division of The Licence Co - congratulates Deon and Stellenbrau on this top award, as well as for being a leading light to the increasing number of dedicated and enthusiastic micro brewers. 

(Article by "Die Burger", edited and translated by The Licence Co)

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Beer in 12-pack and 18-pack?

Liquor -  Every thought of a 12 - pack, or even an 18 - pack of beer?   We're all used to the name - "6 - pack".  It started with beer, but have become general usage even for cooldrinks sold in this way.   The 24 - bottle/tin variety is called a "case", but still contains 4 x 6 - packs.

12-packs and 18-packs are becoming commonplace in the USA, such as introduced by Miller Lite.  Craft brewers have taken it a step further, often mixing up different varieties of beer in a single pack.   Or even includes bottles and tins in the same pack.
Will we be able to buy these sizes locally sooner than later, as with so many US products and services eventually finding its way to the South African consumer?
(Article in Pitsburgh Post-Gazette, edited by The Licence Co)

Powdered Alcohol - The Debate Rages On

Liquor -  The debate around powder alcohol, dubbed "palcohol", continue to rage on.  It was temporarily banned earlier this week in one more state in the USA.  One ounce gives the same alcohol content as one shot of liquor.   Four flavours are available currently - margarita, vodka, rum and cosmopolitan. Lawmakers are concerned that it would be difficult to control as it would be easy for minors to obtain and to conceal.

It seems that there will be no use in a complete ban, as one would stimulate a black market similar to the prohibition era.   It looks like another example of technology posing new challenges to society.

We believe it won't be long before it is introduced to the South African market. Watch this space! 

(Article by Gina Glaros, edited by The Licence Co)

Monday 16 March 2015

Gauteng Liquor Licence Holders - Verify or Lose Your Licence

Liquor Licence -  Liquor licence holders in Gauteng (+- 9,500) have to verify their liquor licences by 30 April 2015 in terms of a notice published in a newspaper last month.   A liquor licence holder has to verify a liquor licence by providing the following to the Gauteng Liquor Board :

  • a certified copy of the liquor licence;
  • copies of company registration documents;
  • a certified copy of the owner’s identity document, and
  • work permits and passports if a business is owned by non-South African citizens.

The advertisement threatens liquor licence holders with the annulment of their liquor licences if they do not comply by 30 April 2015.   The Liquor Board claims the process is legal as the Gauteng Liquor Act provides for a licence to expire "on a date on which the licensee abandons it in writing or on a date otherwise determined by the board".   However, this is disputed by legal experts.   The Liquor Board explained that this is an annual process and aims to keep its database updated. 

Whether the verification process is legal or not, it is difficult to see how the Liquor Board will be able to effectively process the paperwork – if reports of substantial backlogs of applications in the normal course of business are to be believed.
(Article in The Business Times, adapted by The Licence Co)

Friday 13 March 2015

Liquor License = Property?

Liquor Act -   Can a Liquor Licence be seen to be "property" - as defined in the Constitution?   To most people, it would seem to be a strange idea to think of a licence as property.   Isn't a licence only a "permission" or a "right to trade", which is confirmed by a piece of paper issued by a liquor board?
Well, the Eastern Cape High Court ruled in 2014 that the definition of "property" in the Constitution is "wide" enough to allow for the inclusion of a liquor licence as "property".   It therefore ruled that a section of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act was unconstitutional.  
The Reason - the Eastern Cape Liquor Act determined that grocers' liquor licences would lapse 10 years after the Act came in to effect - 14 May 2004.   Licence holders could re-apply for their licences within 5 years of the Liquor Act coming into force.   The 10 year - period was about to pass, which spurred a licence holder on to ask the High Court to intervene in April 2014.   The licence holder stood to lose sales of R40 million per year and the state would lose VAT of R2 million.
The High Court therefore gave the licence holders permission to trade in the meantime, while awaiting the decision of the Constitutional Court.   

(Article by SAPA, edited by The Licence Co)

Friday 27 February 2015

Licence dispute in Umhlanga – KwaZulu-Natal

Licence dispute -  The Diamond Grill and Lounge, situated on Umhlanga’s Lagoon Drive, has  been fined twice by the eThekwini municipality in recent weeks, for allegedly operating a nightclub illegally.  The owner, Shaun Russouw, claims that this is the result of a local councillor’s personal vendetta against him.   The councilor denied this, stating that Mr Russouw requires a special licence to manage a strip club, which he allegedly doesn’t have.   Russouw, in turn, alleges that the municipality wants to apply a law which was declared unconstitutional in 2003.  He feels that he is being unfairly targeted as similar establishments have been operating for more than 7 years without any problem.    The eThekwini spokesman said they are of the opinion that Russouw does not have the proper licence to operate a strip club.   “There are licences for different kinds of businesses, and people cannot run a place of entertainment without a licence,” he said.
Russouw indicated that he planned to challenge the municipality’s case when it comes to court on 27 March 2015. 

[Article by the Daily News, edited by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division]

Sunday 15 February 2015

Brumbies secure a Liquor Licence

Liquor licence - The Brumbies Superrugby franchise has secured a liquor licence to offer their supporters a carnaval atmosphere outside their home AIS Arena.   The venue will offer barbeque facilities, live music and (of course) a bar.  The Sharks have been doing this for ages outside their stadium in Durban and it is still very popular with fans.   This is an obvious attempt by the Brumbies to get larger fan numbers for home games.
We're sure most of their fans won't mind a ride in the Brumbies' newest mode of transport -  a 757 Boeing Corporate Jet.

Wonder whether their liquor licence will extend to include the jet?(!).
[Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division), sourced from www.smh.com.au]

Powdered Alcohol at a Liquor Store near you?

Liquor - Just add water and stir.   This is how simple it would be to mix yourself a cocktail if powdered alcohol was allowed for sale at your local liquor store.   You could used it in any location out of reach of a liquor retailer or when it would otherwise be impractical – such as on a hiking trail. 

Mark Phillips is the inventor of powdered alcohol and calls it “palcohol”.  Palcohol could be sold in one-shot pouches in varieties like rum or vodka and ready-made cocktails.  His company is pushing for federal approval in the USA, although he has met resistance from those who first want authorities to determine how safe it actually is.    They fear it may be snorted by users, but Mark says these fears are completely unfounded.    "Palcohol is not some super-concentrated version of alcohol," Phillips said, adding "It's simply one shot of alcohol in powdered form.  Why would anyone want to spend an hour of pain and misery by snorting . . . to get one drink in their system when they could just drink a shot and accomplish the same thing?"

The outcome of the approval process will be of interest to South Africans, as most of what happens in the US usually finds its way to the SA market some time later.   We can already see the supporters of sport events perking up at the possibility of enjoying their favourite drink after passing security and having bought a bottle of pure spring water (!).

(Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division), sourced from www.pennlive.com)

Saturday 14 February 2015

National Liquor Norms – Far reaching, but unconstitutional?

Liquor laws - The new National Liquor Norms and Standards (“the Norms”) came into effect on 13 February 2015 by publication in a national government gazette.   This follows the adoption of the Norms by the National Liquor Policy Council on 9 September 2014 by all nine provincial MEC’s.  It is to be seen whether it will be introduced as is into the respective liquor acts of the 9 provinces or whether only certain sections will be introduced.   It is also possible that this legislation will be challenged due to liquor being a provincial competency (i.t.o an earlier Concourt judgement).

The intention of this legislation is to create a uniform legislative framework for the enforcement of liquor laws.   Currently, the various provincial liquor acts differ in many ways - some require documents such as tax and police clearances and others don't.

The main provisions of the Norms are the following : 

  • Tax, Police and Safety clearance certificates are required – not only for new applicants, but also as a condition for the annual renewal of existing licences. This will mean upwards of 50 000 additional certificates to be issued for reach year – for renewals only - by each of the respective SARS, SAP and local authority departments (ouch!)
  • No firearms will be allowed on on-consumption premises (not even if placed in a safe?).  No reference is made to off-consumption premises (liquor stores) though.
  • Condoms and drinking water to be provided free of cost on on – consumption premises
  • Licence holders will be held liable for pollution and littering outside their premises, if it “flowed from the business”.   Will a court hold a licence holder liable for the behaviour of a person over whom he / she has no control and who isn’t on his/her premises?
  • Off-consumption licence holders (liquor stores, etc) will be forced to keep sales records for 5 years – for each sale of more than 25 litres to the public.  Apart from the quantity, the reason for the purchase must also be recorded. 
  • Default trading hours (below)will be applicable to businesses in areas where municipalities have not determined such hours in terms of a by-law.
  • Distribution of liquor to liquor licence holders will also be limited, but have been extended somewhat compared to the previous draft - from 06h00 to 18h00 (previously from 09h00 to 18h00) Mon – Fri.    Distribution on Sundays – previously not allowed - is now allowed between 09h00 and 17h00.
  • Supermarkets and liquor stores will be allowed to trade on Sundays from 09h00 – 17h00 (not allowed included previously)  
  • Wineries will be allowed to manufacture 24/7 and offer tasting from 10h00 to 18h00 every day (excl Public Holidays).   No mention is made of the hours allowed for the sale of wine. 
  • Restaurants and night clubs – If zoned for business purposes, they’ll will be able to trade from 10h00 to 24h00 and 18h00 to 06h00 respectively.
It will be very interesting to see how the implementation of the Norms play out on a number of levels : 

  • Financial - Heavy cost burden to current and potential licence holders to comply, and
  • Administrative - Limpopo and Northwest provinces have to implement their respective provincial liquor acts by financial year end 2016/2017.

(Article by The Licence Co (LiquorWise Division) 

Sunday 8 February 2015

Western Cape Liquor Board - Interesting Facts from Annual Report

Liquor Licensing - The WCLA’s2014  annual report contains interesting facts, which are seldom published.    We provide some of the most important and interesting facts below :

·         3308 : new applications  received (+- 50% were for events/functios)
·         1192 : number of temporary licences approved
·         362 :  new licences approved
·         +- 8000 :  licence holders to be managed by only 8 inspectors
·         3820 : routine inspections carried out / 227 :  compliance notices issued
·         +- R25,8m : were received as fees from new applications & licence renewal fees.
·         +- 45 : the staff compliment

The proposed amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act is expected to have a very positive effect on turnaround – times.   Read our summary on the amendments.

(Summary by LiquorWise)