Ten liquor outlets in KwaZulu-Natal have been closed down by authorities for contravening the COVID-19 regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In a statement released on Saturday 6 June, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said the 10 were among 747 licensed premises inspected over the past week.
Evidence pointing to regulation violations
â€œThe ten liquor outlets have been shut down on the basis of enough evidence pointing out the violation of the COVID-19 regulations,â€ Dube-Ncube noted.
The MEC said the common areas of contravention included failure to close according to trading times, selling expired liquor, failure to screen employees, not sanitising patronsâ€™ hands and failure to ensure social distancing between patrons.
According to Dube-Ncube, the sale of expired liquor and mixers is one of the common areas of contraventions that have been picked up by inspectors.
Liquor licences may be suspended for three months
â€œAs indicated during the week, our entity â€“ the KZN Liquor Authority â€“ is empowered to recommend the suspension of the liquor license until the end of lockdown, or for three months,â€ the statement said.
â€œHowever, the attitude of traders is generally positive and cooperative towards the inspectors from our entity â€“ the KZN Liquor Authority, SAPS and other law enforcement agencies.â€
KZN inspectors will continue to act firmly
Inspections are currently underway throughout the province and continue during the course of next week.
â€œIt should be emphasised that inspectors will continue to act firmly should there be any evidence indicating the violation of the sale of liquor in terms of the KZN Liquor Licensing Act,â€ Dube-Ncube noted.
â€œWe remain grateful to the majority of liquor traders and license holders â€¦ who are complying with the COVID-19 regulations governing the sale of liquor during this period. We reiterate as the department that these regulations are aimed at ensuring the health and safety of customers, workers, liquor traders and the people of this province as a whole.â€