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)