Liquor vendors could face over R100k fine or licence loss for defying lockdown

The Western Cape’s community safety MEC, Albert Fritz, on Thursday warned that liquor vendors operating during the Covid-19 lockdown would be eligible for a fine of over R100 000 and could permanently lose their trading licences.

“I have requested that the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) ensure that any outlet which contravenes the lockdown conditions be liable for a maximum fine of up to R115,610 or have their licence revoked permanently, subject to an investigation,” Fritz said.

“It has further been requested that the WCLA join the PROVJOINTS committee and be included in every case where liquor was sold or an arrest was made to better track the original point of sale. I further welcome the resolution taken by PROVJOINTS on 25 March that no alcohol will be returned to any liquor outlet after paying of an admission of guilt fine,” he added.

To date, the WCLA has conducted 20 investigations on matters of non-compliance with the lockdown national regulations. Of the investigations, 13 will proceed to hearings before the Liquor Licensing Tribunal.

As per section 71 (1) of the Western Cape Liquor Act, according to Fritz, “the Liquor Licensing Tribunal may grant an interim order suspending a licence upon application by an inspector or a designated liquor officer if there is an imminent threat to the health, wellbeing or safety of the public”.

He urged members of the public who were aware of the illegal sale of alcohol to immediately report such.

“Any persons wanting to lodge a complaint or report a contravention of the regulations can contact the WCLA’s contact centre on 021 204 9805.”

On Friday last week, R500,000 worth of alcohol was confiscated in Dunoon. Two men had been selling the alcohol from a car and led police to a tavern that was also selling liquor.

The sale of alcohol and cigarettes has been prohibited during South Africa’s 21-day Covid-19 lockdown, but thieves have been targeting liquor outlets to steal the items.

According to a local media company, police in Tshwane are investigating at least two liquor store break-ins, while in Langa in the Western Cape, two people were arrested following the burglary and looting of a Shoprite liquor store.

In Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, thieves allegedly broke into a Boxer liquor store at the Nkomo Village shopping centre and made off with alcohol and cigarettes.


Photo: Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz on Thursday warned that liquor vendors operating during the Covid-19 lockdown would be eligible for a fine and could lose their licences. File Photo: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

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