The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Western Cape

WCLA Imposes Almost R7 Million in Fines on Liquor Outlets Across Western Cape

Michael Hawthorne

The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) has slapped liquor outlets with fines totalling just under R7 million to curb non-compliance with licensing regulations. Between November 1, 2022, and November 24, 2023, the WCLA conducted extensive inspections and issued 169 fines across the province, with 49 fines amounting to R2.1 million directed at license holders in priority areas.

In this period, a total of 6112 inspections were carried out, with 61% occurring in priority areas identified by the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers. The targeted areas include Atlantis, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Harare, Gugulethu, and Philippi (Hanover Park) within the Metro.

The WCLA’s focus also extended to the district municipalities, covering Beaufort West (Central Karoo), George (Garden Route), Witzenberg (Cape Winelands), Swartland (West Coast), and Theewaterskloof (Overberg) Municipalities.

Of the 83 non-compliance reports submitted, nearly 70% originated from the priority areas. Violations included failure to comply with licensing conditions, breaches of the Western Cape Liquor Act, and non-adherence to compliance notices.

Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, emphasized the critical role of WCLA in combating alcohol-related harms. Minister Allen stated, “The continued work of the WCLA is critical to combat the harms associated with the abuse of alcohol. I am encouraged by the operations of the inspectors, as we have seen where outlets are operating outside the parameters of the law, further and avoidable acts of lawlessness tend to occur.”

Crime statistics for the second quarter (July to September 2023) of the 2023/24 financial year highlight the correlation between liquor-related offences and criminal activities. In the Western Cape, 16 fatalities, 12 attempted murders, 6 alleged rapes, and 119 cases of grievous bodily harm assault (GBH) were reported at liquor outlets during this period.

Minister Allen expressed deep concern over the majority of non-compliance reports originating from priority areas and urged inspectors to maintain their level of scrutiny. He also called on liquor traders to adhere to licensing conditions to ensure profitability, job creation, and the prevention of criminal activities.

Marcellino Martin, spokesperson for Minister Reagen Allen, concluded, “We all have a role to play in creating safer communities, and we urge businesses to work with us to reach our goals.”

The WCLA’s ongoing efforts aim to strike a balance between regulating the liquor industry and fostering safer communities, with a strong emphasis on collaboration between authorities and businesses to achieve these goals.


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