IN an endeavour to root out irresponsible alcohol trading in the Eastern Cape, Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) has introduced a WhatsApp number (076-403-6223) that EC residents can use to report instances of irresponsible trading in their respective areas.
Cases of irresponsible trading include, among other things, selling to underage people, trading beyond regulated trading hours, selling to visibly intoxicated people, selling to pregnant women, playing loud music, lack of proper security on the premises and blocking of driveways by the patrons, the ECLB explained in a media statement today.
“ECLB views reckless trading with a serious light, and intends empowering communities with more platforms to report liquor outlets that are disruptive and flout their trading conditions. There is also growing concern of the mushrooming of illegal outlets in our province, which certainly contributes to the proliferation of criminal activities and other related social ills. We therefore seek to create a culture of activism within our communities and promote awareness of their rights in relation to liquor trading in their respective areas,” the ECLB said.
Everyone who sells alcohol without a valid liquor licence is contravening the law and community members are urged to report such occurrence using this WhatsApp number. The Eastern Cape Liquor Act requires that when one applies for a liquor licence one must serve a Form 2 notice to the ward councillor of the area where the premises are situated. Upon receipt of the form the ward councillor must convene a community consultation meeting to discuss the application.
Members of the community have the right to object to the application for a liquor outlet in their area if they deem it undesirable based on their reasons. In this case, it is also expected that members of the community are bound to know about a liquor outlet as they would have been part of the public participation as convened by the ward councillor.
The same form must also be served to every governing body of every educational institution and place of worship within radius of 100 metres from the premises in respect of which the application for registration is made.
“The introduction of the WhatsApp number is ECLB’s serious endeavour to enforce compliance with liquor trading conditions by ensuring that people have a recourse to freely and anonymously report irresponsible liquor trading tendencies. We urge people of the Eastern Cape to utilise the number in cases where they identify these unbecoming tendencies,” the ECLB said.
The newly launched WhatsApp number is 076 403 6223 and is available 24 hours.