The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) has encouraged communities to use their constitutional right to be part of the decision-making in the issuing of a liquor license through a community consultation process.
“The ECLB has observed with serious concern that communities are not adequately aware of the role they are supposed to play in the issuing of a liquor license,” the Board said in a media statement.
Board Spokesperson Dr Mgwebi Msiya said the Eastern Cape Liquor Act enjoins members of the community to participate in the public consultation process wherever a liquor license is lodged within their jurisdiction.
“It is a legislative requirement that the councillor of the ward in which the applicant intends opening a liquor outlet must convene a community consultation meeting to afford members of the community an opportunity to discuss openly whether or not they agree to the liquor outlet in their area,” said Mswiya.
“The councillor must therefore ensure that minutes of the meeting are captured, an attendance register is signed, and produce a report that will subsequently be submitted to the Eastern Cape Liquor Board for consideration. It is important to stress that – based on their own circumstances – members of the community have a right to object to a liquor license being lodged in their area.”
Anyone opposed to the application must lodge an objection to the Eastern Cape Liquor Board within 21 days from the date of its publication. The applicant must be present at this meeting, to present his/her case and provide answers or any clarification that the community members may seek.
“Public participation of the community members will ensure that every liquor outlet within their areas is known, and this will enable them to easily identify an illegal outlet in their area,” the Board said.
People are advised to report liquor establishments that fail to comply with trading conditions and Covid-19 regulations to the nearest police station or to the ECLB toll-free number 080 000 0420 and WhatsApp 076 403 6223 and may remain anonymous.