Gauteng speeding up liquor licences for World Cup

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pretoria - Gauteng has set up special measures to ensure that the Liquor Board awards licenses in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"Part of the strategy is to focus on limiting trading in the vicinity of schools, places of worship and irresponsible trading in dense residential areas," Economic Development MEC Firoz Cachalia said on Wednesday.

Cachalia said the Board will also address backlogs in licensing, improve revenue collections and eliminate fraud and illegal licenses.

This will be a relief for organisers or owners of any public viewing event who will sell liquor during the soccer spectacular, especially following this week's confusion on the special liquor licence for the Soccer World Cup.

The draft liquor control policy, which recently caused an outcry from liquor sellers, was gazetted by the department of trade and industry (DTI). It stated that any "public viewing event" where matches are broadcast to the "general public or otherwise" will need the liquor licence.

Media reports claimed that organisers or owners of any public viewing event of the world cup will have to pay R50 000 for a special liquor licence caused an upheaval.

In setting the record straight, Trade and Industry Deputy Director-General of the Consumer and Corporate Regulation Division, Zodwa Ntuli, said those holding valid liquor licences were not required to obtain an additional special liquor licence.

Cachalia said the proper review of the Gauteng liquor policy and legislation is also underway. This he said would involve consultation of stakeholders in the liquor industry.

"The short term deliverables of this strategy focus on improving service delivery, compliance as well as enforcement."