W Cape cabinet green-lights proposal to toughen liquor act
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Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said his cabinet has approved the drafting of the amendment to the province’s liquor act.
Responding to questions in the Western Cape Legislature on Thursday, Winde said the approval of the draft was a step in the right direction in addressing alcohol abuse and its effects on Gender Based Violence and crime.
The proposed amendments look at altering the Western Cape Liquor Authority’s (WLCA) liquor fees, permanently confiscating seized alcohol after the payment of an admission of guilt fine, obligating licence holders to take measures to determine that a client is of a legal drinking age, among other things.
Winde said his cabinet’s approval was a first step before the draft was sent to the provincial parliament for further probing.
“Last Wednesday the cabinet actually approved the drafting of the amendment to the current liquor act,” he said.
“There is a first round that happens within government, then some public participation and as soon as that is done we will get that amendment to this parliament so that it can go through its processes and have an analysis around what are those amendments we want to bring.”
The ANC’s Nomi Nkondlo probed Winde to commit to a time frame of when this process would be finalised as the policy has been on the cards since 2017.
And with the renewed ban on alcohol sales at off-site locations during the weekend during level 3 lockdown, Nkondlo said the issue of illegal operators would become prevalent yet again.
In his response Winde said: “The issue about illegal activity is exactly the issue I raised at the PCC on Tuesday so one must always understand when we put in place blunt tool restrictions like we are doing with restricting the sale of alcohol over weekend, the risk is you have illegal activity and that is what we have to look out for.”
“We need to make sure we are not punishing the legal and the illegal keeps on doing what they're doing.
“It is going to take a good couple of weeks to get the drafting finalised and by the time we see decline in Covid-19 cases we will bring it to this parliament for public participation.”