Tag Archives: alcohol abuse

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 15 January

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Every day the world’s airlines fly 8 million passengers around the world, a total of 3,1 billion in 2013, breaking through the 3 million passenger mark for the first time.  More than 50 million tonnes of cargo is transported annually, and the airline industry’s direct global economic contribution is $540 billion.

*   South African wines will be represented at the Wine Buyers Forum Windsor 2014, at which buyers with a buying power of $2,2 million each will attend on 10 and 11 March.

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that passenger numbers stabilised in November 2013, relative to the same month a year prior, with a growth of only 4%.   The Middle East had the highest growth rate at 10%, while Africa saw a decline Continue reading →

New Liquor By-law: City of Cape Town allows new comments re Sunday liquor trading!

What sounded like an April Fool’s joke was in fact reality, when stringent new operating hours of establishments selling alcoholic beverages were announced, as well as a number of very odd regulations regarding the purchase and storage of such beverages, were regulated via the Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law.  Receiving numerous complaints as well as threatened legal action from retailers who have been refused alcoholic beverage sales on Sundays, has led the City of Cape Town to call for a further round of comments from the public, as well as from affected retailers.

The City of Cape Town is allowing a 45 day period, ending on 20 May, for comments to a draft of the new By-law, which is only 22 days old.  Following immediate feedback, the City is planning to allow alcoholic beverage retailers in city areas to trade on Sundays, and to trade later than the newly instituted 18h00 time limit on Mondays – Saturdays.  The new By-Law had been through a public participation process, but Sunday retail trading did not appear to elicit any reaction at that time.  Only wine estates are allowed to sell wine on Sundays in the new By-Law.

The City has graciously allowed those retailers holding a liquor licence in built-up city areas to continue trading on Sundays while the comments are being received and evaluated.  Trading hours as per the new By-Law must however be followed.  Gareth Bloor, Councillor for Economic, Environmental, and Spatial Planning, said the City of Cape Town has to balance the needs of the hospitality industry with the health and social effects of alcohol abuse in residential areas in particular, according to its media statement.

The City has lost credibility in capitulating so quickly on its new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law, and one wonders why it did not think this part of the By-Law through before its implementation. Threatened court cases may have led to the rapid halt in the implementation of the By-Law clause pertaining to the retail sales of alcohol on Sundays in city areas.

Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law, City of Cape Town. www.capetown.gov.za/bylaws

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Controversial Liquor Trading By-Law still on ice, intimidated by legal threat!

Yesterday the controversial Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill was to have been fully gazetted, and be enforceable, but this has been held back, due to threatened legal action.

The Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law has attracted the wrath of the members of the newly-formed Club, Bar and Restaurant Association of the Western Cape, who contributed money to a legal fund to fight the By-Law by means of an interdict, reports the Cape Times.  The association is looking to get 100 members on board, to have a large enough legal resource of about R1 million to “put these guys to bed”, said Shaan Nordien of the Chrome Club, and has invited restaurants and hotels to join them in their fight.  The first step will be to apply for an interdict from the court, whereafter the association will challenge the constitutionality of the By-Law, says the association’s legal advisor Zeeshan Nordien.  An interesting development, demonstrating the seriousness of the association members, is the appointment of specialist liquor lawyer Danie Cronje of Cluver Markotter, with Jan Heunis as the advocate, reports the Cape Times.  They have sent a letter with their grievances to the City of Cape Town, which it has decided to study first before going ahead with gazetting the By-Law.  A protest march has not been excluded.  

The Association is claiming that up to 150000 jobs could be lost due to the potential loss of business caused by the new Liquor Trading By-law, reports The Times

A potential new change to the By-Law could be a “cooling off period” for drinkers, which would allow establishments such as pubs, bars and restaurants selling alcohol to allow their patrons to stay on at the establishment, serving them coffee, but disallowing the sale of alcohol, after 2h00, so that the drinkers are in a fitter state to drive home, reports the Cape Argus.   JP Smith, the City of Cape Town Councillor and Mayco member for Safety and Security, said:  “This would mean that patrons’ liquor consumption stops some time before they leave the establishment – and that would be good”.   Smith has warned the rebelling club and bar owners that the new By-Law will be implemented across the board, and accused them of ‘profiteering off liquor abuse”, the newspaper reports.   “We have always known that people who profiteer off the sale of liquor will not want to give that up.  But we will sit it out, because of how important this is.   Those that protest about the new trading hours are not the ones paying the hospitals, or the ambulances, or the emergency services.  They’re not the ones having to pick up the pieces that result from alcohol abuse.  They’re looking at their profits”, he added.

Smith said that the City would target the establishments receiving the most complaints in terms of noise level and fighting.   The By-Law will rely on customer complaints for its implementation to be effective.

POSTSCRIPT 1/7: The Cape Times has reported that the Liquor by-law has been reviewed by a ‘constitutional expert, following the outcry from the hospitality industry prior to its introduction earlier this year.  The review will lead to as yet undisclosed changes to the bylaw.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage