Entries tagged with “Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law”.


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

The Sweet Service Award goes to the City of Cape Town, for listening to the outcry about the proposed ban of liquor sales on Sundays in retail outlets in Cape Town, and is considering amending the Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law, announced just three days before it is to be implemented from Monday 1 April. The City has promised that current licence holders will be allowed to continue opening on Sundays until the Sunday retail closure rule is amended by the Council.   The Council is inviting applications from retail liquor outlets in certain areas, but excluding ‘local business and residential areas‘, to trade on Sundays.  Initially the City did not receive any major opposition to its proposed Sunday liquor sales ban, but more recently it noted the public outcry. It is considering the amendment as ‘the City seeks to balance the needs of all residents and take heed of their needs and concerns’.

The Sour Service Award goes to New Media Publishing, publishers of Taste magazine, and is nominated by Butch Rice: “I would like to nominate Taste magazine for a Sour Service award or whatever. Here is why.  I have been an avid reader of Taste for a long time now. As an enthusiastic foodie, I have enjoyed the content of the magazine, and have used many of their recipes. Until I bought the latest edition. Oh dear, they have changed the entire look and feel of the magazine. It is now unreadable, unless you have very good eyes, and good lighting. Although the articles look very stylish, it is design gone mad. A new font is being used, which is impossible to read, especially if it is propped up in the kitchen, while following a recipe. The designers have been let off their leashes, with disastrous consequences. I wrote to the magazine, expressing my extreme disappointment at the change, and the fact that it was now unreadable. No reply to my letter. Really bad marketing and customer relationship management. Great pity. Woolworths has shot themselves in the foot with this one”.

We requested an explanation for the design change from New Media Publishing, and received this reply:  ‘It is regretful that our design update has not been received well by one of our loyal readers. We obviously value each and every member of our TASTE family. The design tweaks were done to bring new life and lightness into the layouts. As per our Client’s own brand objectives, we aim to position ourselves as innovators. In this, we stay on trend with what is being done in design on the international stage. We constantly seek ways to improve and in so doing, stay fresh, modern and relevant. The response to our new look has been overwhelmingly positive – from the industry, our Client, our advertisers and most of all from our readers. Incidentally, this issue was one of the highest selling in the past year. It’s very unfortunately that we have not been able to delight 100% of our community, but assure you that we will continue to strive to do so. Regards, Sumien Brink, Editor

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

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

*   Wineries

#   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

The City of Cape Town has lost face with its planned introduction of the new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law today, in that it has had to backtrack twice in the past few days, demonstrating the lack of professionalism of the City’s Liquor Policy Task Team, which worked on the by-law for the past two years, and thereby one questions if they can be taken seriously going forward.

The long-awaited City of Cape Town Liquor by-law was meant to become effective today, and many outlets selling alcohol are unhappy about what is perceived to be draconian legislation to curb liquor sales, in the interest of reducing accidents due to drunk driving, a problem particularly prevalent in the Western Cape – however the City’s by-law ads do not mention this reason for the city’s new Liquor by-law! 

A UCT student in Social Development, Policy and Management, Rowan Dunne, discovered earlier this week that the by-law has not been fully gazetted, in that three amendments made since it was gazetted in September 2010 have not yet been gazetted, and will only be so on 14 January, making any attempt by the City to apply the liquor regulations illegal until then, reports the Cape Times.

In addition, the new by-law would have meant that all pubs, hotels and restaurants selling alcohol would have had to close their sales at 2h00 this morning, the new time limit meant to have been introduced by the by-law.  But given that it has not been gazetted, outlets could stay open as late as they liked on this longest party night of the year.

From today, the by-law was meant to have prohibited the selling or drinking of alcohol in hospitality establishments before 11h00, and after 23h00 in residential areas, and after 2h00 in CBD areas.   The City already had to amend the 11h00 morning deadline, to accommodate champagne breakfasts.   Sparkling wine may be used for such breakfasts, on condition that it is served with food.

Ironically, the number of deaths due to accidents has fallen dramatically this festive season, compared to the previous two years, due to stricter roadside controls by the traffic authorities, and strict new laws regarding fines/imprisonment due to excessive speeding, and driving drunk.   In addition, the Cape Argus has commenced a “Name and Shame” campaign, publishing on its first page names of persons who have been convicted of drunk driving.

Strangely too Mayor Dan Plato said in an interview on Kfm earlier this week that the City did not have enough law enforcement officers, and that these would initially be visiting establishments to educate them about the new by-law.   The City has also advertised the by-law regulations in the local Cape Times and Cape Argus newspapers.

The times at which alcohol may be served and drunk are as follows:

Residential areas:  B&B’s, guest houses, backpackers, pubs, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs –  11h00 – 23h00  (Hotels until 2h00)

“Local or neighbourhood business centres”:   B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, sports clubs, places of entertainment – 11h00 – 23h00    (Sports clubs until midnight, rezoned Hotels until 2h00.  Liquor stores and specialised wine shops may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

“General Business centres” : B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants – 11h00 – 2h00 (Supermarkets, specialised wine shops and liquor stores may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays) 

Industrial areas: Pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs – 11h00 – 2h00 (Liquor stores and specialised wine stores 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

Agricultural areas (i.e. wine farms): Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’ and sport clubs – 11h00 – 2h00.  Wineries may sell and serve wine from 11h00 – 24h00 every day of the week, and may sell it for off-consumption from 9h00 – 18h00 every day of the week.

Small Holdings:  Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’, sports clubs – 11h00 – 24h00 (Wineries as for agricultural areas above).

On Tuesday this week, Councillor Taki Amira had announced that the City was going ahead with the introduction of the by-law, and that it applies from today.  Outlets with liquor licences were threatened that they could lose their licences.  On Thursday, he did an about-turn, after a meeting with city club and bar owners, as well as with Dunne.   “The City would like to allay fears of club and restaurant owners with regards to the enforcement of the City’s new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law.   The by-law will be phased in over the next few months and will not be stringently endorsed until all role players have been extensively informed about the new legislation.”  Club owners are uncertain of their zoning, and which time limit therefore applies to them in respect of the closing time.  

The City’s by-law is likely to become a benchmark for other municipalities in the Western Cape.   The City’s by-law advertisement already warns that “the new Western Cape Liquor Act takes away the automatic right of renewal for an annual licence”.   The ‘policing’ of the by-law by the public is encouraged in the City’s by-law advertisement, and could lead to misuse for ‘political’ or ‘points-scoring’ purposes, and lead to bad neighbourliness. 

The City’s Clubs, Bars and Restaurant Association is planning legal action, and plans to approach the Cape High Court on Monday, to fight the by-law.

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