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]

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

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)