Amendments to the Western Cape liquor regulations were published recently and will take effect on 1 July 2017. The changes include an application fee increase which is payable when applying for new licenses or changes to existing licenses. Additional information not previously required, must be included in applications. Significantly more information will be required when applying for special event licenses, such as wine festivals and markets.
New application forms will be used and application procedures will change and it is expected that it will take the Liquor Authority longer, for some time, to process applications than is currently the case. Applications submitted before the 1st of July will still be processed in accordance with the current regulations and fee. It is recommend that businesses which require new liquor licenses, or changes to existing liquor licenses, submit their applications before the 1st of July.
Businesses are required to submit applications when:
- they require a new license for a winery, restaurant, function venue, etc.;
- they have altered or extended the licensed premises or plan to do so;
- the business is restructured so that a new company now manufactures or sells the liquor;
- the shareholding in the company which holds the licenses changes;
- they have taken over an existing business with a liquor license;
- a new person is appointed as manager under the license (or the business does not have proof of the current appointment);
- a winery also wants to produce other liquor, e.g. craft beer, craft spirits or cider;
- the business does not have a copy of the license originally issued (this is not the renewal issued every year);
- the business has a license for the manufacture of wine in its cellar and the sale thereof in its tasting room, but also wants to sell wine and/or other liquor in a restaurant or during functions or picnics;
- they want to sell liquor at an event, such as a wine festival, market or sporting event;
- the business stores wine at a place other than its licensed premises.
It is clear that the changes are aimed at stepping up the monitoring of license holders and their compliance with legislation. More liquor inspectors are being appointed to inspect licensed premises to ensure that license holders comply with the requirements of the Western Cape Liquor Act and Regulations. The Liquor Licensing Tribunal will also be able to impose fines of up to R100 000 for non-compliance.
Businesses which require advice on applications or compliance, are welcome to contact Danie Cronje at email@example.com or on 082 772 3517.