Comments sought on draft liquor laws

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sunday liquor ban THE STAR An entertainer balances a beer bottle on a knife at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria. Liquor traders have vowed to fight a proposed ban on Sunday sales. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Johannesburg - Gauteng residents should make use of a consultation process to comment on proposed draft liquor regulations, the economic development department said on Wednesday.

“(The department) has noted public concerns on some aspects of the proposed draft liquor regulations,” economic development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile said in a statement.

“Public consultation is a critical aspect of a caring government and a principle that provincial government takes very seriously,” he said.

“We will carefully and genuinely consider the views of the public in finalising draft regulations.”

He said the proposed regulations were not meant to stifle economic activities relating to the liquor trade.

The public has until February 25 to make submissions.

In terms of the proposed new legislation, every licence must be awarded on an annual basis, the board must consider issues of compliance with licence conditions and the broad-based black economic empowerment act, and it may also refuse to renew a licence.

Licences issued prior to the act will be renewed subject to conditions of the new legislation, and there must be compliance with the act.

There are also new trading hours and stricter zoning requirements.

Certain establishments will not be allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday.

This will apply to traders who sell alcohol only to take-away, such as liquor stores and supermarkets, and not to institutions which serve alcohol for consumption on the premises, such as restaurants.

It provides that traders have a responsibility to ensure their patrons behave in a way that does not affect the rights of ordinary citizens who live near the outlets. - Sapa


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