KZN tavern shut down, owner fined R5 000 for flouting Covid-19 regulations
Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal tavern owner had to pay R5 000 after inspectors shut down his place of business at the weekend for flouting Covid-19 regulations.
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said eight other liquor traders were also fined and charged over the weekend.
The MEC said compliance inspectors from the KZN Liquor Authority and law enforcement agencies had made a number of “surprise” visits to various bars in the province.
"We want to ensure compliance and adherence with the Disaster Management Act as well as the KZN Liqour Act," she said.
She said nine licensed premises were visited at the weekend.
"Monate Tavern in Vryheid was fined R5 000 for trading in the early hours of Sunday morning. In line with the laws of the country, the owner of Monate Tavern will be served with a notice of suspension of his liquor licence. He is required to make a representation within 14 days," Dube-Ncube said.
She said compliance officers and law enforcement agencies charged and fined eight liquor licence holders for selling takeaways in contravention of regulations.
"Where any licence holder is found to have violated any of the provisions contained in the regulations or the sale of liquor in terms of the KZN Liquor Licensing Act, the KZN liquor authority will recommend the suspension of the licence until the end of lockdown or for three months.
"Our records show that over the past four months, more than 2 000 liquor traders across the province have been visited during business inspection, compliance and enforcement. We have expressed our concern that since the country moved to Level 1, our compliance inspectors have discovered six fraudulent liquor licences and fraudulent confirmations of payment receipts," the MEC said.
She said these licences were found in the uThukela, Amajuba and eThekwini districts.
"We remain concerned with the number of fraudulent licences mushrooming. It is for these reasons that our entity, the KZN Liquor Authority has appointed a forensic investigator to probe these cases and liaise with law enforcement authorities. We are confident that the main culprits involved in this racket will be punished severely. This will serve as a lesson to aspiring fraudsters and dubious liquor traders," she said.
The MEC added inspectors would continue to make unannounced visits throughout the province.