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Call to amend Western Cape liquor act in a bid to halve murder rate

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Source:https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/call-to-amend-western-cape-liquor-a...

Cape Town – People tasked with the provincial Safety Plan have asked the Department of Community Safety to amend the provincial Liquor Act as a part of its plan to halve the murder rate in the province over the next 10 years.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said the amendments were further aligned with Premier Alan Winde’s "smart interventions", aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm.

“During the lockdown, my department monitored the number of homicides which demonstrated that at the beginning of the lockdown, the murder rate had been halved,” he said.

He said as the country moved into alert levels 4 and 3 the murder figures increased, but then decreased slightly as the ban on alcohol and the curfew were reinstated.

Among the key proposed amendments were altering the Western Cape Liquor Authority’s liquor licence fees, permanently confiscating seized liquor after the payment of an admission of guilt fine, and inserting an objective test within the act to determine whether alcohol has been sold to an unlicensed outlet or individual.

Some included obliging licence holders to take reasonable measures to determine that a client is of legal drinking age and aligning the act with the Liquor Products Act to ensure a uniform definition of “Illicit liquor”.

Fritz said he had noted that between March 27 and August 28, the Western Cape Liquor Authority had conducted 129 investigations into contraventions of the National Disaster Risk Management Act Regulations.

“Of the 129 investigations, 50 section 71 matters were placed on the Liquor Licensing Tribunal’s case roll, of which 40 licences were suspended and 10 applications were dismissed.”

Chief executive of the Beer Association of SA Patricia Pillay said following recent reports of alcohol outlets breaching the level 2 lockdown regulations, the association had committed itself to identifying establishments found breaking the law and cutting off their supply.

Pillay said beer manufacturers would request the details from municipalities and provincial liquor authorities of businesses whose licences had been revoked and would stop supplying alcohol to them.