Wednesday, December 17, 2008

City formulates liquor trading hours by-Law

By Mandisi Tyulu
17 December 2008

In response to the recent signing of the new Western Cape Liquor Act, 2008 (Act 4 of 2008) the City of Cape Town’s Liquor Policy Task Team has completed a draft by-law to control the hours and days of trading by licensed liquor establishments in the city.

The purpose of the by-law is only to control and regulate the trading hours of undertakings licensed by the Licensing Tribunal and does not in any way indicate support for the merits of any new licences or establishments, which would be the subject of a separate process and regulating regime.

The Act contains generic hours of operation for licensed liquor establishments and also permits municipalities by way of a by-law to regulate hours of operation within its jurisdiction. Where a municipality does not by way of a by-law set its own hours, the trading hours default to those stipulated in the Act.

To prevent the Act’s default trading hours and days from becoming applicable, this by-law will set out the trading hours for licensed establishments operating within the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town. Where the new Liquor Licensing Tribunal grants a licence, according to the Act, it may not do so subject to a condition permitting trading hours in excess of those determined by a municipality in such by-law.

Councillor Taki Amira, chairperson of the City’s Liquor Policy Task Team, says that the City is aiming to advertise the draft by-law for public comment early in 2009. Therafter it will be put to the relevant Portfolio Committee for consideration and subsequent adoption, hopefully before the commencement of the Act, which date is still to be determined by the Minister.

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