Draft liquor laws not being properly thought out

There are lots of reasons to believe that the new liquor laws have not been properly thought out and that there will be lots of unintended consequences. Here’s one:
The draft says there should be no liquor sales within 500 metres of a school, place of worship, recreational facility, residential area or public institution including post offices.

Existing liquor outlets falling within 500 metres will lose their licence within two years.

But this works two ways. Existing liquor outlets could also object to the building of, say, a church or a squash court if it was closer than 500m as this could lead to the loss of their licence.

It also means that some liquor stores in shopping malls will have to close down because many shopping malls have post offices and gymnasiums among their tenants. What will happen? The post offices will be kicked out because liquor stores have high turnovers and make good tenants.

But wait, it gets worse. Imagine Long Street without a single bar! And the City Club would lose its liquor licence because it’s too close to the High Court. And what about the new Taj hotel which is opposite the Anglican Cathedral?

In fact, quite a few hotels in Cape Town would be doomed. Laws like this will kill the tourism industry – if there is anything left after the visa regulations have done their work.

Are there any legislators out there who can think and understand that laws have consequences?

Janine Myburgh
President of the Chamber

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