Portion of liquor sector illegal

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About 15 percent of liquor traders are operating without a licence, the National Liquor Authority (NLA) said on Wednesday.

“This normally happens around the informal settlements, and (where) people that were licensed earlier on and those licences were revoked, they continue trading,” chief director Thezi Mabuza said.

She said police were responsible for enforcing the National Liquor Act but the NLA also held monthly meetings to identify problem areas.

Illegal shebeens and traders often flouted zoning regulations, music volumes, trading hours and in selling to minors.

“Alcohol is here to stay with us... but we have to find a way to deal with it (the industry) better.”

Mabuza was speaking on the sidelines of a Trade and Industry department seminar in Cape Town on liquor regulation compliance.

The NLA's primary objective was to balance the socio-economic impact of alcohol abuse with the economic viability of the alcohol industry.

The Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use estimated that the industry contributed 4.4 percent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country, or about R90 billion a year. – Sapa


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