The City of Cape Town’s Liquor Enforcement Unit participated in an integrated operation over the weekend that resulted in the arrest of four suspects for selling alcohol without a licence.
The Unit teamed up with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Provincial Office of the South African Police Service Liquor Control, and the Western Cape Liquor Authority to inspect liquor premises in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.
Officers issued 19 spot fines for various offences related to the City’s by-laws, totalling R50 500. One of the four suspects arrested – a Mitchells Plain shebeen owner – faces additional charges of assault and resisting arrest.
During the first quarter of this year, the Liquor Enforcement Unit closed down 28 illegal liquor premises and conducted 782 compliance inspections in terms of the Control of Undertakings that Sell Liquor to the Public By-law of 2013. They also confiscated nearly 5 500 litres of alcohol during operations with the South African Police Service.‘Enforcing our by-laws and other liquor regulations is hard work. We know that illegal operations pop up everywhere and even some of those establishments that are licensed will push the envelope as far as they can. So we rely heavily on the public to keep their eyes open and blow the whistle on operators who are trying their luck and making life miserable for those around them in the process. At the same time though, there are many establishments that do obey the law and for that, we thank them,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
On the streets, the City’s Vice Squad held an operation in Brooklyn and Bellville focusing on prostitution. Officers issued 45 spot fines for solicitation totalling R52 000. They also issued four compliance notices to first-time offenders.
‘Our officers put together profiles of any newcomers they find on the street, so it becomes quite easy to differentiate between new faces and repeat offenders. Our priority is not to prosecute sex workers, but rather encourage them to get out of the sex trade and return to their families. We’ve had a number of success stories in the past but of course we know that, like many other things, this is a complex issue that needs a more “whole of society” approach than we are able to provide,’ added Alderman Smith.