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Cape Town - Liquor outlets will have a second bite at the City of Cape Town’s controversial alcohol sales by-law from Tuesday when a 30-day public comment period starts.
Public meetings have been scheduled for October 24 and 25 at the Good Hope Centre.
The new draft “control of undertakings that sell liquor to the public” by-law, which has undergone several revisions and amendments since the first round of public participation earlier this year, would allow liquor outlets to apply for licences to sell alcohol after 6pm and on Sundays.
Garreth Bloor mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, said the amendments would allow the city to strike a “careful balance” between the permitted opening times and the responsibilities of undertakings selling alcohol and their customers.
“Alcohol is no ordinary commodity. Its abuse and misuse are associated with violence, accidents and chronic health problems,” Bloor said. However, it was also used for recreational and even cultural purposes.
“Unduly restricting supply has been shown to have adverse side effects on individuals and businesses.”
Retailers and outlets would be able to apply to the sub-councils in their area for a permit to trade until 8pm, and on Sundays.
The city’s first amended liquor trading days and hours by-law came into effect in April last year.
A one-year period of grace in which licence holders could continue trading in terms of their permit ended when all licences had to be renewed on April 1 this year.
However, the by-law was referred to the city’s economic portfolio committee in March for further consideration after businesses complained about the restricted trading hours.
More than 90 percent of those who took part in the first round of public participation in April supported extended trading hours and Sunday trading.
Bloor said there had been considerable interest from other municipalities in the city’s proposed by-law.