19 July 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Liquor Authority conducts enforcement and compliance inspection 

by: Seloane Seleka   date: 25 May 2018

A team of liquor inspectors of the Department of Economy and Enterprise Development - accompanied by police officers - went on unannounced liquor compliance inspections over the past weekend in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality. 

The operation started on Friday night until Sunday and was led by Colonel Sapelo, Station Commander of the Motswedi Police Station and Director of Liquor Regulations, Khumoetsile Taoana.

Inspectors found that some of the liquor outlets have been operating with licenses of their deceased partners/spouses for a period of more than a year without making a transfer application to the Liquor Board. 

“This is a matter we must address boldly and decisively with the Liquor Board to ensure that these outlets apply for transfer of licenses to the current owner,” said Taoana 

In several instances, some license transfers after the death of the owner are delayed by the prolonged process of the estate, especially when there is dispute concerning the deceased’s estate.

About 45 liquor outlets ranging from taverns, bottle stores and liquor restaurants were visited, in places such as Zeerust, Motswedi, Gopane, Mashaneng, Borakalalo and surrounding areas. 

Twenty outlets were found to be in contravention of the Liquor Act, including selling liquor beyond trading hours, managing an outlet without proper documentation, failure to keep liquor documents on the premises and failure to appoint a manager in terms of Section 159 (g) and Section 39 of the Liquor Act. 

The three-day operation was a joint intervention in the spirit of the Saamwerk- Saamtrek philosophy, aimed at enforcing compliance in terms of the Liquor Act (Act No 27 of 1989), curb illegal alcohol trading and ensure a zero tolerance on non-compliance, with strict enforcement measures on licensed outlets and to target hot spots. 

According to Taoana, the team closed two illegal liquor outlets for selling liquor beyond trading hours and operating an outlet without proper documentation. 

Most of contraventions found include failing to keep liquor records or display licenses on the premises, allowing patrons to take liquor away from the on-consumption premises (taverns), outlet not operating a bona fide restaurant (venue disguised as a restaurant) and owners not appointing managers to run the establishment when they are away. 

Taoana said the sale of liquor beyond stipulated trading hours, selling liquor to minors, as well as nuisance by liquor traders, were still a great concern for the Liquor Board. This includes some of outlets being operated by foreign nationals without proper documents.

The department made strides to reduce backlogs and turn-around times with liquor license applications by designing a Liquor Licensing Management System. 

“We have completed the development of the new liquor system and we are now in the process of implementing it. The industry must be regulated to trade responsibly,” Taoana added.

Zeerust Police Station commander, Col. Dipuo Mabaakanye, said clamping down on illegal liquor traders and ensuring licensed liquor outlets adhered to prescripts of the Act, were police’s top priorities.