THE period for the renewal of liquor licences in the Eastern Cape is drawing closer and Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) is urging liquor traders to adhere to timeframes.
In a statement released at the weekend, ECLB said it wished to commend those liquor traders that have so far taken it upon themselves to ensure that they comply with conditions of their liquor licences and promptly renew their licences.
“In order to heighten compliance, liquor traders are obligated by law to renew their liquor licences annually. The renewal period starts on October 1 until December 31 of each year, and those who miss this deadline can still renew their licenses in the months of January and February of the following year,” the ECLB said.
However, those who renew in January are charged a 50% late registration fee of the normal registration fee; and those who register in February are charged 100% of the normal fee.
“The implication for those liquor traders who fail to renew their licences by February 28 is that their liquor outlets will be deregistered and should they wish to trade again, they will be expected to undergo the same process of attaining [a] liquor licence. It is important to note that those who continue to trade with invalid licences will be contravening the law, and necessary steps will be taken,” the statement continued.
In the previous year (2016/17) out of 7 466 active liquor licences in the province, about 6 527 liquor traders renewed their licences and 851 did not renew and were subsequently de-registered.
“The failure to renew licenses has a debilitating effect on ECLB’s fight against the mushrooming illegal taverns in the province as the majority of these liquor traders revert to illegal trading,” ECLB said.
To avoid de-registration of their liquor licences, liquor traders must ensure that they renew their licences so they can remain valid for the next financial year.