Blitz Operation cracks down on Illegal Liquor Traders in KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Board (KZN)

Over R13, 500 fines were issued and illegal cigarettes to the value of R3500 confiscated 

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 4, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- More than 70 Liquor outlets ranging from Taverns, Shebeens, Restaurants, Distributors and second-hand goods dealers were visited in KwaZulu-Natal, over the weekend during the liquor awareness and enforcement operation. Pinetown and Hillcrest areas were visited.
The operation was organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the South African Police Service (SAPS), Ethekwini municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Board, South African Revenue Services, Telkom, Transnet, and the Gambling board with an objective to curb illegal trading of liquor, create an awareness on the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse and ensuring that liquor licence holders and second hand goods dealers comply with the conditions of their licences.

Members visited liquor outlets and second hand goods dealers to ensure compliance.

The awareness campaign about liquor abuse was extended to taxi ranks and malls in and around the two areas. 77 liquor outlets, illegal taverns, liquor dealers and second-hand goods dealers were visited. Ten illegal liquor outlets were closed down and liquor confiscated. Over R13, 500 fines were issued and illegal cigarettes to the value of R3500 confiscated.

The SAPS National Liquor Control, Colonel Sello Motau described the operation as a success and warned those who are trading liquor illegally. He said they will be arrested and face the full might of the law. Colonel Motau was confident that those who intended to trade illegally would fear the law after witnessing the operation over the weekend. Meanwhile he urged his colleagues to treat every day as an operation day. He said they must be proactive and not reactive.

“The liquor officers must keep on going back to check if the people don’t start selling illegally and provide them with more information on how to register to be a legal liquor trader. We need to get to a point where trading legally is a culture. Most importantly, education and awareness by all stakeholders must be intensified,” emphasised Colonel Motau.

Colonel Motau pointed out partnerships between the police, other government departments and agencies as one area that would curb illegal liquor trading. He said the police cannot win the war on crime and illegal liquor trading alone.

According to the Chief Director of the National Liquor Authority at the dti, Ms Prea Ramdhuny the operations were aimed to reducing the socio- economic and other costs of alcohol abuse, to negate the impact of contact crimes resulting from liquor and to enforce compliance of the Liquor Act, 2003 (Act 59 of 2003); also to address the increasing number of unlicensed traders, who do not adhere to their licence conditions, as required by law.

“The unannounced operations are strategic in ensuring distributors are selling liquor to licenced persons or entities. The department is still facing the challenges in regulating liquor as registrants continue to trade after the licence has been cancelled or do not comply with their registration conditions,” said Ramdhuny.

Ramdhuny added that the message intended was to the licence holders to act more responsibly and familiarise themselves with the National Liquor Act, the regulations and norms and standards so that they can trade responsibly and make informed decisions when manufacturing and distributing alcohol to traders.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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