A joint inspection operation by officials from the Department of Trade and Industry, (the dti), South African Police Service, Limpopo Liquor Board and Community Police Forums over the weekend saw more sixty non-compliance notices issued, one liquor outlet closedown, six people arrested for possession of dagga, four charged and arrested for drinking and driving, more than five hundred patrons searched in liquor outlets and fines to the value of R16 500 being given to non-compliant liquor licence holders.
More than sixty outlets raging from taverns, restaurants, distributors and manufacturers were raided in Tzaneen, Maake, Bolobedu, Letsitele, Lenyeye, Letabe, Ntsako village, Modjadjieskloof and surrounding areas.
The Chief Director of the National Liquor Authority at the dti, Ms Prea Ramdhuny said the operation was meant to enforce compliance with the National Liquor Act, and to also address the increasing number of under-age drinking, non-adherence to the licence conditions, trading hours and enforce compliance by liquor traders and distributors.
"Most outlets that were given compliance notices and fine failed to adhere to the stipulated conditions of their licences and to produce relevant documents as prescribed by law," said Ramdhuny.
Ramdhuny added that licence holders need to be constantly educated on the Liquor Act in order to comply and avoid irresponsible trading.
The Operational Commander of the Tzaneen SAPS Cluster, Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said alcohol is still one of the crime generators in the country. He said in most cases it leads to other crimes such as murder, rape, assault, robberies and anarchy.
"These raids assist us in visiting the hotpots that we normally get complaints from and where most of these crimes are taking place. In most cases kids are exposed to this kind of behaviour as they observe and experience the unruly behaviour in their communities," said Ngoepe.
The Director for Compliance at the Limpopo Liquor Board, Mr Dion Palser said he welcomed the raids in different parts of the province as they will make their work easy in identifying the problematic areas and outlets as pointed out by the police.
Palser said the board wants liquor traders to comply, trade responsibly and avoid a situation where their licences are revoked.
Common contraventions were hotels and restaurants operating as taverns, patrons drinking outside the liquor premises, failure to display original licence, effecting structural alterations without prior approval of the board, trading beyond stipulated trading hours, selling take away while in possession of an on-consumption licence, and selling liquor to minors.
A tavern raided during the inspection blitz in Ntsako village, Tzaneen.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti
Source: The Dti The Department of Trade and Industry Republic of south Africa