Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen says the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) should be commended for inspecting all licensed liquor premises over the past year. This was the first time the WCLA was able to do so. In certain instances, some licensed liquor outlets were inspected on more than one occasion.
More than 13 000 inspections were conducted between 22 December 2021 and 21 December 2022 at the 9 098 licensed premises, which were licensed by 1 April 2022. A further 66 licensed sites that were registered since 1 April 2022, will be inspected. Inspections can lead to cases of non-compliance being submitted for prosecution. Potential sanctions include the issuing of warnings, fines, stricter licence conditions, suspension or revocation of a licence.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “The effort of the Authority is a clear demonstration of the commitment to ensure that all liquor traders across the province are compliant. On the odd occasion, we find traders who are operating outside the parameters of the law, and this tends to lead to further and avoidable acts of lawlessness.
The second quarter crime statistics for the 2022/23 financial year, show us that incidents in the Western Cape which are directly linked to liquor, led to 16 people being killed, 170 being raped and 468 grievous bodily harm assault (GBH) cases being reported. Not only does the authority have a role to play in combatting these crimes, but they also have to ensure that licensed liquor outlets are able to trade in a responsible, yet profitable manner.”
The inspections were made possible by an additional twenty-four (24) Junior Liquor Inspectors that were appointed during the 2021/22 financial year. They are supporting the existing eleven (11) Senior Liquor Inspectors. Five (5) of the twenty-four (24) Junior Inspectors were recruited and retained on the prioritisation of resources internally.
Minister Reagen Allen added: “I’m pleased to note that the deployment of additional Junior Liquor Inspectors has primarily been in the priority areas, where repeat inspections are conducted to monitor levels of compliance, targeting underage drinking and on-selling of liquor to unlicensed premises. Further to this, I’ve been informed that going forward, the Authority aims to inspect all newly licensed premises within three months of the licence being issued.”
The additional capacity has resulted in the following impact for the period 1 April 2022 to 21 December 2022:
|Integrated operations conducted (with SAPS/Law Enforcement)||235|
|Compliance notices issued to licence holders||713|
|Non-compliance cases submitted for prosecution||444|
|Number of licence holders fined||193|
|Value of fines issued||R7,383 million|
|Warning and/or stricter conditions issued||8|
“I urge all liquor traders to comply with all regulations, as this will assist in combatting both the harms and crimes that are associated with liquor, while also providing a platform for the outlets to thrive economically and trade lawfully,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety.