96% of Western Cape liquor licences renewed for 2022


Over 8 600 licence holders in the province have successfully renewed their licences for continued trading in 2022. This renewal rate demonstrates that trading in liquor remains a viable business proposition despite our numerous economic challenges. We continue to encourage licence holders to embrace regulation towards a reduction of harms that can be associated with liquor.

The 4% that did not meet the 31 December 2021 deadline to renew (less than 350 licences) have effectively lapsed and are not able to trade. These licence holders have the opportunity to renew their licence up until the end of March 2022 (penalties apply). The WCLA is making a considerable effort to contact these businesses and enable them to reinstate their liquor licence where possible. 


Enabling safer communities requires effective regulation of liquor in the public interest


Simion George, CEO of the Western Cape Liquor Authority, emphasises:


The granting of a liquor licence goes beyond securing permission to trade in liquor. Alcohol is a regulated substance due to the significant harms associated with its availability and use. Regulation ensures that public interest is considered and prioritised to reduce the impact of alcohol on communities, while enabling sustainable business opportunities.

In South Africa, 56% of transport related deaths, and 54% of homicides and violence cases are linked to high levels of alcohol. The availability and use of alcohol is a risk factor enabling gender-based violence, sexual violence and other forms of violence leading to injury, trauma or death. In many instances, patients presenting at emergency centres with injuries caused by violence test positive for alcohol use.

The annual renewal fees paid by licence holders fund the costs of regulating the liquor industry in the public interest. The WCLA utilises its resources towards enforcement activities to compel and enhance compliance, reducing the incidence of underage drinking, illegal liquor sales and unsafe trading conditions, amongst others. 


Enhanced enforcement capacity with 24 new Liquor Inspectors


In 2021, the enforcement capacity of the WCLA was considerably enhanced as an important intervention in support of the Western Cape Government Safety Plan. The impact of the 24 additional WCLA Liquor Inspectors has been significant, as they work in areas most affected by violent crime alongside the South African Police Service, LEAP (Law Enforcement Advancement Programme) Officers.

This increased enforcement capacity has also enabled and capacitated the WCLA to explore and introduce business processes that will deny errant licence holders the privilege of automatically renewing their licences annually for the 2023 renewal period. 



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Rebecca Campbell, Head of Communication, Education and Stakeholder Relations


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