How to apply for a liquor licence

If you want to sell or manufacture liquor in the Western Cape, you must have a valid liquor licence. You have to apply for your licence in terms of section 36 of the Western Cape Liquor Act (4 / 2008).

Different types of liquor licences

There are 4 different types of liquor licences you can apply for. Before you start your application process, study the application form in detail to ensure that you submit the correct documentation.

  1. Micro-manufacturing for on and off consumption – a licence for the micro-manufacture and sale of liquor for consumption both on and off the premises where the liquor is sold.
  2. Consumption on – a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises where liquor is sold.
  3. Consumption off – a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption off the premises where liquor is sold.
  4. Consumption on and off – in exceptional circumstances, a licence is given for the sale of liquor consumed both on and off the premises.

Forms to complete

First-time applicants need to complete the following forms to apply for a liquor licence:

Documents to submit

The following documents must be submitted with form 3.

  • A comprehensive floor plan of the proposed licensed premises.
  • A site plan.
  • An aerial view map.
  • A description of the premises.
  • Indexed colour photographs.
  • Written representations in support of the application.
  • Affidavit by the applicant that he or she is not disqualified in terms of section 35 from holding a liquor licence.
  • Proof of notice in terms of section 37.
  • Proof of right to occupy the proposed licensed premises.
  • Proof of ownership of the proposed licensed premises or, if the applicant isn’t the owner, written consent from the owner of the proposed licensed premises that the applicant may use the proposed licensed premises for the purposes of the licence applied for.
  • A certified copy of the identity card or document, or the passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the applicant if the applicant is a foreigner. In the case of an applicant other than a natural person, copies of the relevant registration documents indicating the identity and, where applicable, the financial interests of all members, directors, partners, beneficiaries or trustees.
  • Proof of payment of the applicable application fee.
  • A zoning certificate or a copy of a planning application submitted to the municipality concerned in terms of applicable planning legislation.
  • Other documents required in the Act or required by the Western Cape Liquor Authority.
  • A nomination for the appointment of a manager in accordance with regulation 22, if applicable.

5 step application process

Step 1: Application forms and annexures

When applying, make sure you submit your application by 2pm on the last Friday of the month with the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the area of the proposed licenced premises.

 Step 2: Follow-up

The WCLA will check the application to ensure all information and documents are included. If not, the WCLA will follow up and provide a deadline for outstanding documents to be submitted.

Step 3: Advertising

The application will be advertised once it contains all relevant information. You (the applicant) must display a notice (Form 3B) in all 3 official languages of the Province.

Step 4: Objection period

Should anyone oppose the application, you’ll be provided with a copy of the representations and will have the option to respond within 14 days.

Step 5: Outcome

After the objection period is over, the application is put before the LLT for consideration. The outcome of the application will then be communicated to all affected parties.

What happens if I sell liquor without a valid liquor licence? 

Trading without a valid liquor license is an offense in terms of the Western Cape Liquor Act and offenders are referred to criminal courts for prosecution.

Section 32 of the Act reads as follows:

(1) A person may not micro-manufacture or sell liquor unless authorised to do so in terms of a licence issued in terms of this Act, the Liquor Act or the Liquor Act, 1989 (Act 27 of 1989).

(2) A person who is authorised to micro-manufacture or sell liquor must do so in accordance with the conditions of the licence.

(3) A person, excluding a person contemplated in section 84(1), who, without being exempted in terms of section 84(2), micro-manufactures or sells liquor in contravention of subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an offense.”

More  information on liquor licences

The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) regulates the retail sale and micro-manufacturing of liquor in the province. They will be able to assist you regarding the following information relating to liquor licences:

  • Temporary liquor licences
  • Event liquor licences
  • Transfer of licences
  • Nomination of a Manager
  • Appeals and Reviews
  • Removal of a licence
  • Fees schedule

For more information please contact the Western Cape Liquor Authority:

Tel: 021 204 9700

Existing licence holders need to remember that they have to inform the Western Cape Liquor Authority of any change in management, financial changes, or structural alterations.

We can help you apply for a liquor licence.


The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.