Western Cape Liquor Authority steps up enforcement on errant outlets
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Cape Town - The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) has stepped up its enforcement activity as part of the province’s efforts to ensure establishments play their part and prevent alcohol-related harms from taking place.
During the presentation of the WCLA’s annual report for the 2019/20 financial year, members of the standing committee on community safety focussed on issues such as the WLCA’s strict enforcement of non-compliance rules.
ANC provincial spokesperson on Community Safety Mesuli Kama wanted to know how many non-compliant license-holders were dealt with during the year under review and what were the most common contraventions.
Acting chief executive officer of the Western Cape Liquor Authority Leatitia Petersen said: “When dealing with non-compliant licence holders the liquor inspectors respond to certain allegations and complaints brought against the non-compliant licence holders and certain sanctions are provided for in section 20 of the WC Liquor Act, which include relocation, suspension, imposing of alternative conditions on the licence and steep fines.”
“The sanctions also serve as a deterrent against non-compliance as we’ve seen a lot of cases where, if one licence holder has been sanctioned and has a steep fine, it sends out a strong message to others who have not complied,” said Petersen.
Deputy director compliance and enforcement Martell van Lill said: “There were 344 non-compliant matters referred to our prosecutor. Out of these cases, 210 were sent to the liquor licensing tribunal (LLT) for consideration.”
Van Lill said: “Having an office that deals specifically with non-compliance matters is unique to the Western Cape. Their job is to asses the cases presented either by the police or the WLCA inspectors before the matters go to the LLT.”
Committee chairperson Reagan Allen (DA) said: "Along with the work done by the WCLA that enforces the efforts of other safety organisations, the Liquor Authority has issued a total of R2.4 million worth of fines for the flouting of Covid-19 regulations.”
“As we are aware of the damaging effect of reckless use of alcohol in the spread of Covid-19 and with resurgence in the Western Cape, I commend the efforts of the Liquor Board in maintaining safety protocols during 2020 and their role in reducing alcohol related harms in the province,” said Allen.