Safety, compliance and policy

Traders are urged to be socially responsible

Recent government initiatives relating to the liquor trade focus on social responsibility, policy, customer service and compliance. Non compliant traders get short shrift.

MEC in efforts to cap alcohol abuse

Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Pauline Williams has called on liquor traders to be responsible by not selling alcohol to underage persons and pregnant women.

Recent government initiatives relating to the liquor trade focus on social responsibility, policy, customer service and compliance. Non compliant traders get short shrift.

Speaking at a Roundtable Discussion on Alcohol Abuse and Gender Based Violence in Kimberley on Tuesday, she said alcohol could harm unborn babies as it causes Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The provincial Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has programmes that supports the fight against substance abuse and domestic violence. 

“As a department, we have enhanced our alcohol abuse programme to focus more on children and youth, and have ensured our active participation in raising awareness in communities of substance abuse and domestic violence,” MEC Williams said.

Her department has also mobilised the Community Police Forums to be more vigilant in addressing alcohol abuse through programmes and projects at local level.

“Law enforcement needs to happen without fear or favour and responsible drinking needs to be inculcated amongst those consuming alcohol or else we will find ourselves living in a lawless society.

“Substance abuse is not only a challenge in society but a threat against democracy and a better life for all,” MEC Williams said.

According to research by the provincial Department of Social Services and Population Development on substance abuse in Siyanda District, “alcohol and other drug abuse remains a leading cause of crime, poverty, reduced productivity, unemployment, dysfunctional family life, the escalation of chronic diseases such as AIDS and related health factors, injury and premature death”.

MEC Williams encouraged communities to take responsibility by fighting alcohol abuse. 

N West considering provincial liquor policy

Pretoria - The North West Provincial Government is in the process of finalising a provincial liquor policy which it will use to inform a Provincial Liquor Bill aligned to the National Liquor Act 59 of 2003.

The draft policy was presented for deliberations during the Executive Council (Exco) meeting held in Mahikeng earlier in the week.  

“The proposed policy, which was drafted after wide consultation with various stakeholders, was after consideration deferred for further refinement to address the concerns of Exco about the contribution of alcohol towards crime, the scourge of rape, road accidents, and about taverns and shebeens that are operating until the early hours of the morning, denying residents peaceful sleep.

“The policy should close identified loopholes for effective law enforcement and also respond to concerns of our communities about taverns that are operating near schools, churches and inconsiderate noise levels that emanate from these establishments that in some instances disturb entire neighbourhoods,” said  Premier Thandi Modise.

Modise said Exco was adamant that the economic and social policy should balance the broader benefits and costs of daily activities, as affected by the production and retail of liquor in the province.

She said Exco wanted to see an appropriate mix of enterprise and regulation to balance the interest of all participants in the liquor trade and society as a whole.

National Liquor Authority walk-in centre launched 

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has launched the National Liquor Authority (NLA) walk-in centre and online case management system that will improve customer service and promote compliance within the liquor industry.

The Pretoria-based centre will provide solutions to challenges experienced by clients regarding the processing of their liquor licence applications.

According to the Chief Director of the National Liquor Authority, Prea Ramdhuny, the centre, which is in its first phase of implementation, will offer both face-to-face interaction and an online web-based case management system application to its customers.

“The walk-in centre will be manned by expert NLA staff that will assist clients to file registrations, provide information on the licensing requirements and assist with any enquiries regarding the NLA. Clients will be able to track the status of their applications on the website,” she said on Monday.

The online process is simple and efficient, eliminating the need for clients to travel to NLA offices.

“The web-based customer management system can be accessed from the comfort of their homes, office or anywhere in the country,” said Ramdhuny.

Phase one of the walk-in centre and customer management system will deal only with new applications.

“It is also important for our clients to note that when doing telephonic enquiries, the staff managing the centre will only have read-only access to their information.

“They can be assured that their information will not be tempered with. I think with this initiative, we have demonstrated appreciation for our clientele. The onus now rests with them to ensure that they furnish us with all the required documentation when submitting applications to guarantee a smooth process,” said Ramdhuny.

She said phase two of the rollout will focus on automation of renewals, relocations and transfers.

Dti clamps down on non-compliant liquor outlets

A liquor outlet was closed down while fines to the value of R16 500 were issued to non-compliant liquor licence holders in a joint inspection operation by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The dti, SAPS, Limpopo Liquor Board and Community Police Forums carried out the operation over the weekend. The blitz saw more than 60 non-compliant notices issued and six people were arrested for possession of dagga. Four people were arrested for drinking and driving.

Over 60 outlets ranging from taverns, restaurants, distributors and manufacturers were raided in Tzaneen, Maake, Bolobedu, Letsitele, Lenyeye and Modjadjieskloof among others.

The Chief Director of the National Liquor Authority at the dti, Prea Ramdhuny, said the operation was meant to enforce compliance with the National Liquor Act and to address the increasing number of underage drinking, non-adherence to the licence conditions, trading hours and enforce compliance by liquor traders and distributors.