The drive to promote compliance and do away with the fraudulent and old liquor licence has this far yielded positive results within the liquor industry in the province. The Mpumalanga Economic Regulator (“MER”) in partnership with the South African Police Service (“SAPS”) have embarked on numerous consultative workshops since the beginning of this year.
This was shared during a consultative workshop held with the Designated Liquor Officers (“DLO’s”) within the Ehlanzeni District Municipality on 24 October 2018.
An official from MER, explained to the DLO’s that they need to know their roles in respect of liquor licensing in their respective areas. He mentioned that there is no way that a liquor licence can be issued without the police involvement.
“Liquor licencing involves municipalities, police and follows a public participation process; however, if the premises were advertised and there were no objections from the public, the applicant is more likely to be granted a licence certificate,” added MER’s official.
Furthermore, it was discussed that the MER is in a process of reviewing licence conditions for liquor outlets in close proximity to education and religious institutions. In terms of the new licence conditions, liquor trading hours must not conflict with school hours and places of worship.
The community is also encouraged to verify a liquor certificate and to report illegal trading of liquor. The MER is sending a clear message to the people who are still trading alcohol without a valid licence, selling alcohol to underage persons and pregnant women.
The DLO’s were also informed about the #MyOutletIsLegal campaign, which aims to empower members of the public with tools and mechanism to verify the legality via SMS.
Anyone can verify by sending “verify”, then the validation code printed on the licence certificate to 30503, and this service is free of charge.”
The MER will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders through consultative workshops and awareness campaigns to reach out to all stakeholders.
“We appreciate the invitation, we hope that today forward we will see improvement in our work space as DLO’s. We need more of these workshops,” said one of the DLO’s.