On First Thursday earlier this month my Parisian friend Aurélie Jullien and I attended The Belgian Beer Company’s celebration of the ‘Art of Glass’ at the WORLDART Gallery on Church Street, an exhibition of the art by Lizette Chirrime, the first African artist whose work has been used on a Duvel beer glass. Continue reading →
A Facebook post shared yesterday by leading hotels in Cape Town informs tourists about the water shortage in Cape Town and surrounding towns, and reassures them that they are welcome in the Cape and can still enjoy their holiday, despite a potential Day Zero scenario. Continue reading →
* Tim Harris has been appointed as the new CEO of Wesgro, the trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for the Western Cape, for three year period Minister Alan Winde announced today. Harris currently is the Investment Officer of the City of Cape Town, and will replace Nils Flaatten from 1 January. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* Despite doom and gloom, South Africans enjoy eating out at restaurants and buying food at take-away outlets, according to a survey by Statistics SA. October was the third best month in respect of food and beverage expenditure in the past four years, with a total expenditure of almost R4 billion. R1,8 billion was spent at restaurants and coffee shops, and R1,5 billion at take-away and fast food outlets. Catering made up the balance. The food and beverage industry grew by 11,5% year on year, with the take-away/fast food side growing at 15%. Total expenditure on the food and drink industry was R43 billion in the past year.
* Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has requested Eskom to communicate its loadshedding schedules more Continue reading →
The City of Cape Town has reminded hospitality establishments that its new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law will change on 1 April, and will impact on restaurants, bars, clubs, and accommodation establishments, and all categories of liquor licences that they hold. The sale of alcoholic beverages has been restricted to 18h00.
A media release issued on behalf of the City of Cape Town quotes Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning: ‘As part of our commitment to building both a Caring and an Opportunity City, the by-law has sought to consider the needs of all stakeholders in the city and to strike a balance between the social effects of alcohol abuse, potential disruption (especially in residential areas), and the reasonable sale of alcohol for the hospitality sector‘.
Describing the hospitality sector as an ‘important economic multiplier’, the City amended its draft regulations to allow currently licensed establishments, which are now obliged to stop selling alcohol at 2h00, to apply for an extension to trade until 4h00, on condition that the establishment is zoned for business or industrial use.
The By-law allows the sale of alcohol on all days of the week, within the following hours:
* ‘Guest accommodation establishments’, business premises, places of entertainment, and sport and community clubs
# 11h00 – 23h00 in residential and neighbourhood business areas (sport and community clubs an exception, until 24h00 in local or neighbourhood business areas)
# 11h00 – 2h00 in general business, industrial and ‘agricultural‘ areas
* Hotels and casinos
# 11h00 – 2h00 in all areas
# 11h00 – 24h00 in small holding or rural areas
# 11h00 – 2h00 in agricultural areas
* Ad hoc mobile entertainment vehicles for tourists: 11h00 – 24h00.
The difference between ‘agricultural’ and ‘small holding or rural area‘ is not defined in the media statement.
The following additional exceptions have been written into the By-law:
* special event permits will have the trading hours specified
* licensed hotels and guest establishments may sell liquor via room service 24 hours of the day
* sparkling wine may be served between 8h00 – 11h00 for ‘champagne breakfasts’, if access is controlled to functions.
The City has urged the hospitality industry to apply for licence extension until 4h00 as soon as possible, so that they are covered from 1 April onwards. Should they not have applied by then, they will have to stop selling liquor by 2h00 until they receive permission for the time extension.
Compared to the original By-law outline made public a year ago, the City has shown great understanding and flexibility in accepting feedback from its publics, and making suitable changes to the benefit of the hospitality industry.
POSTSCRIPT 13/3: Food24 provided further details about the new liquor legislation, highlighting that each municipality in the country may now set its own regulations, which no longer are uniform per province. The City of Cape Town has banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in retail outlets on Sundays (and these outlets must close at 18h00 on the other days, as above), Caroline’s in the V&A Waterfront motivating these changes as the reason for closing down its branch in the V&A. Wine estates may sell wines on Sundays. In Hermanus retail outlets may sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays. Further restrictions are:
1. One may not buy more than 150 litres of alcohol at a time, even if it is for a function, if one does not have a liquor licence.
2. One may not stock more than 150 litres (200 750 ml bottles) of alcohol in one’s home without a liquor licence.
3. One may not drink alcohol in a moving vehicle, even if one is not the driver!
4. No school function may serve alcohol, whether the function is at the school or at a different (even licensed) location.
Asking Anton Groenewald, Executive Director of TEAM in the City of Cape Town, at the CAP40 talk about the complaints on Twitter today about the Sunday sales ban in retail outlets, he replied that they may relook the regulation, giving the overwhelming criticism, and the negative effect this may have on tourism.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
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