BEVERAGES: Cape Town Liquor By-Law Gets Support
Recent Western Cape Business News
Speaking at a special breakfast for members of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa Cape division (FEDHASA Cape) yesterday, FEDHASA Cape Chairman Dirk Elzinga commended the City of Cape Town Liquor Policy Task Team for heeding concerns of its members in developing the new City of Cape Town Liquor Trading Days & Hours Amendment By-Law, 2012.
The new City of Cape Town Liquor By-Law was adopted in April after four years in the making, and imposes new trading hours and other restrictions on the sale of alcohol with the specific aim of addressing alcohol abuse in the Western Cape.
Certain proposed clauses of the by-law attracted criticism from the hospitality industry because it imposed more restricted trading hours on hotels and other licenced establishments selling alcohol. Hotels were particularly concerned that late-arriving guests could no longer order a glass of beer or wine after checking in and also that ‘champagne breakfasts’ would be outlawed, but this proposal was withdrawn after FEDHASA Cape informed the city about these strange side effects of the proposed legislation.
FEDHASA Cape asked the City of Cape Town for amendments to the by-law on behalf of its more than 700 members, including hotels, small accommodation establishments and restaurants in the Western Cape.
Speaking at the FEDHASA Cape breakfast, Councillor Taki Amira, former Chairperson of the Liquor Policy Task Team, thanked FEDHASA Cape and other organisations such as the Cape Chamber of Commerce for highlighting problems in earlier drafts of the by-law and helping the City of Cape Town to come up with a better final version of the by-law.
The new by-law requires restaurants in residential areas that wish to continue selling alcoholic consumptions later on in the evening to be rezoned as business premises, as alcohol after a certain time may only be sold on properties zoned for business use. Councillor Amira said new zoning scheme regulations were yet to be promulgated. Establishments seeking extended trading hours need to follow a strict application process and only those who have not attracted public complaints in the past 12 months could be granted extensions. Establishments also need to re-apply for licencing every year as automatic re-licencing has been done away with.
Elzinga said in conclusion that alcohol abuse was in no-one’s interest and FEDHASA Cape was committed to fighting the problem with the City. “FEDHASA Cape seriously supports the City of Cape Town’s fight against alcohol abuse and is grateful for amendments to the new Liquor By-Law that allows the hospitality industry to continue to play its role in the tourism infrastructure in Cape Town. This really is a win-win situation for both parties.”
Elzinga commended the City of Cape Town for taking a lead in South Africa in implementing measures to limit alcohol abuse.
FEDHASA Cape also announced a special rate for members who wish to offer the services of Sober Chauffeur to their customers. Sober Chauffeur drives customers home in their own vehicle. Their services are available in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay.
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