FEDHASA has been lobbying the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition and National Liquor Authority for discounts on liquor licenses for several months following the publication of the Western Cape Liquor Regulation Amendment.
The amendment, published in October, indicates an increase of 4.8% for annual renewal fees and provides for all fees payable in respect of liquor license applications, transfers, removals, annual renewals, and various fines.
FEDHASA’s argument for all regions has been that given the months of lockdown, prohibition of the sale of alcohol, then reduced trading hours as well as hours within which alcohol could be sold – all of this has had a significantly damaging effect on hospitality and tourism and was part of the reason why so many businesses could no longer hold on and had to close down. Those businesses that have survived, are still under considerable financial stress and would be greatly assisted if the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition and National Liquor Authority could show some kindness and leniency by offering some form of respite to the ravaged industry. It would be the right thing to do – taking the unprecedented situation the industry has faced and still faces with the recent red listing, possible further restrictions and trading in a pandemic and recession. Such has the extent been of the hardship our sector has faced – that a number of business’ owners have take their own lives.
At a meeting convened by the National Liquor Regulators Forum on 9 December, FEDHASA was given a platform to present the argument, as well as highlight problems experienced per region by members.
Feedback received in a snap survey from FEDHASA members revealed a significant number of problems in the provinces – which are hindering the conducting of business, as well as our sector’s contribution to the economy and job creation. It is in effect damaging livelihoods, employment prospects and is adding to the stress that the industry has to operate under.
FEDHASA will be sharing this with the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition and National Liquor Authority, and the provincial liquor boards and will do the same with our members next week.
We look forward to a positive working relationship with the DTIC, whereby our industry could be assisted to do what it does best – that is, to be entrepreneurial, innovative and create jobs, add to the economy, and support livelihoods in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.