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Cape Town - The Liquor Trading Days and Hours by-law comes into effect on April 1, says the City of Cape Town in an announcement that has drawn mixed reactions from local liquor traders.
The by-law requires selling of liquor to cease by 2am, regardless of the type of licence. Premises can apply for an extension until 4am.
“The by-law seeks to strike a balance between the social effects of alcohol abuse, potential disruption and the reasonable sale of alcohol for the hospitality sector,” said councillor Garreth Bloor, the mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning.
Bloor said the by-law eliminated confusion and would help to obviate alcohol’s malign influence on crime.
Some venues seemed perplexed.
“As far as I know, liquor licences expire at the end of December, and our licence entitles us to trade until 4am,” said Vaughn Cragg, owner of popular nightclub The Loop.
Cragg said the city had not told him that the by-law would come into effect next month. All he had heard were rumours.
Café Royale owner Sasha Barolsky said he had not been officially informed either.
“Those extra two hours of trading they’re taking are very important and could affect a lot more than turnover.” This included jobs, and could lead to an increase in complaints about noise. “People are going to have more house parties now because no one wants to stop drinking at 2am.”
Vusa Mazula, owner of Zula Sound Bar in Long Street, hoped they would be granted an extension. “Otherwise it will negatively affect us.“
The by-law will not curtail trading at GrandWest casino. A spokesman said they had already secured an extension to trade until 4am.
City hotels will also not be affected by the by-law, says Adderley Hotel general manager Dewald van der Berg.
There will be limited alcohol sales on Sundays, but local wineries can still trade from their tasting rooms.