Western Cape to tighten up its alcohol laws with eight changes


alcohol laws
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Following its push at a national level to introduce the Liquor Amendment Bill, the Democratic Alliance is also planning to make amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act.

According to Western Cape’s Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, his provincial department has been tasked with amending alcohol laws as a part of its plan to halve the murder rate in the province over the next 10 years.

Read More | Stricter alcohol laws proposed for South Africa including a new legal drinking age

During the lockdown, Fritz said his department monitored the number of homicides. The department’s findings showed that at the beginning of the lockdown, the murder rate had been halved.

“However, as we moved into alert levels 4 and 3, the murder figures increased but then again slightly decreased as the ban on alcohol and the curfew was re-instituted,” he said.

Of course, the DA agrees that bans are not a sustainable intervention but instead, tightening up the province’s alcohol laws along with getting the Liquor Amendment Bill passed, is the goal.

The Western Cape is looking to introduce the following changes to the province’s alcohol laws:

  • Permanently confiscating seized liquor following the payment of an admission of guilt fine.
  • Implementing changes to liquor licensing fees – to tackle unlicensed businesses.
  • Creating a test within the Act to determine whether alcohol has been sold illegally to an outlet or individual.
  • Tightening ‘proof of age’ checks and laws
  • Aligning the Act with existing laws to create a uniform and clear definition of illicit liquor
  • Providing for a public participation process to alter existing licenses
  • Ensuring that a record of all liquor sales is kept by outlets and prescribe the measure of detail required
  • Limiting the delivery of more than the prescribed limit of liquor by inserting a requirement to produce ‘written consent’ to presiding officers

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  1. The DA obsesses with a substance (Alcohol) when in fact the root problem is that a paradigm shift is required by communities who use alcohol as an escape from reality ! Unfortunately binging leads to violence, sometimes GBV, GBV is, by the way, not only reserved for the poor, the rich just hide it away better ! Some of the proposed rules and regulations smack of apartheid days, when each and every alcohol transaction had to be recorded to keep alcohol away from black communities. Is the DA really even contemplating these draconian laws? There are no quick solutions to alcohol abuse, legislation will just make it more desirable for those who want to wear their “unlimited access to alcohol badge of honour”. How do bars and restaurants feature in this pipe dream, will they also be required to record name, ethnicity and age of the on site consumers of alcohol? I think the DA member who proposed this solution may just have researched the old National Party rules on alcohol (Perhaps was even a member?) The DA should ask the community, not a politician, what a possible solution to alcohol abuse and subsequent violent behaviour may be. I for one would like to see the percentages of violent reported acts and hospitalisations, where alcohol was present ! I am willing to wager that it is a very small percentage of the community that abuse alcohol, punish the abusers, list their names with liquor license holders, prohibiting sale of alcohol to them for a cool down period, not us ! But that would not be PC, right?