Alcohol industry in court this week over latest booze ban

THIS Wednesday, a wine body will argue in the Western Cape High Court that provinces should be given authority to allow for off-site alcohol sales.

Vinpro, which represents over 2 600 wines and grape producers, approached the courts last week with an urgent application to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol in the wake of the country’s return to level four restrictions.

Days later, South African Breweries (SAB) also launched their own application challenging the government’s fourth ban on the sale of alcohol, although they are yet to receive a hearing date.

Vinpro’s lawyer, Charles van Breda, said the application seeks to give Premier Alan Winde authority to deviate from regulations to allow the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption.

“Vinpro has selected the Western Cape to bring this challenge as the wine industry is primarily situated here. Similar challenges may be brought in other provinces in due course,” he said.

In the alternative, the Premier should at least be consulted about the imposition, extension or lifting of a liquor ban in the Western Cape province.”

Van Breda said the court should also rule that failure by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to lift the alcohol ban by the time the case is heard in court, be declared unconstitutional, and the court should lift the ban in the Western Cape with immediate effect.

“In addition, to the extent that the liquor ban is still in force in the Western Cape by the time that the application for interim relief is heard, declaring the failure of the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to lift that ban in the province unconstitutional and invalid. And substituting for the failure a decision to lift the ban in the Western Cape with immediate effect.”

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