Durban - Ten liquor outlets were shut down at the start of the first week of the level 3 nationwide lockdown in KwaZulu-Natal. This is according to Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
Dube-Ncube vowed that inspections would continue as the government was determined to ensure that regulations were respected.
She said a total of 747 licensed premises had been inspected over the past week.
“The KZN liquor authority is empowered to recommend the suspension of the liquor licence until the end of the lockdown or for three months. The 10 liquor outlets have been shut down based on enough evidence pointing to the violation of the Covid-19 regulations,” she said.
The MEC also emphasised that inspectors would continue to act firmly should there be any evidence indicating the violation of the sale of liquor in terms of the KZN Liquor Licensing Act. She said the inspections were in relation to the monitoring of compliance with Covid-19 regulations governing the sale of alcohol.
“The sale of expired liquor is one of the common contraventions that have been picked up by inspectors. There are also places that are selling expired mixers that were picked up as well,” said Dube-Ncube.
However, she said the attitude of traders was generally positive and co-operative towards the inspectors from the KZN Liquor Authority, SAPS and other law enforcement agencies.
She said inspections would be conducted throughout KZN this week.
According to the department, other areas of contravention included failure to close according to trading times, failure to screen employees, failure to sanitise patrons’ hands and failure to ensure social distancing between patrons.
The department further said the majority of liquor traders and licence holders in general were complying with the Covid-19 regulations governing the sale of liquor under level 3.
“We reiterate as the department that these regulations are aimed at ensuring the health and safety of customers, workers, liquor traders and the people of this province as a whole.”
She also urged the public to report outlets that were not complying with the regulations as officials from the department were on standby to investigate complaints regarding violations of business regulations.