No off-site alcohol sales on Heritage Day, says Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele warned that licensed premises, such as restaurants and bars, which offer patrons takeaway’alcohol on Heritage Day will be punished.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Police minister Bheki Cele has clamped down on alcohol sales on Heritage Day, and issued a stern warning to licensed premises regarding selling alcohol as takeaways.

Speaking during a media briefing on Tuesday, Cele said no off-site sales of alcohol will be permitted on Thursday.

He warned that licensed premises, such as restaurants and bars, which offer patrons takeaway alcohol will be punished as this is illegal.

Under lockdown level 1, off-site consumption sales are permitted from 9am to 5pm from Mondays to Fridays. Weekends and public holidays are excluded.

Alcohol consumers will be allowed to buy alcohol at restaurants, pubs, bars, taverns, and hospitality venues after 9am on Thursday.

“Police will continue to enforce the curfew, which is in force from midnight until 4am. The sale of liquor is permitted from 9am to 5pm during the week. No alcohol can be sold for off-site consumption over the weekend and on public holidays,” said Cele.

“Alcohol can be sold and consumed at licensed premises, but not before 9am and not after midnight. Alcohol cannot be sold as takeaways. It must be consumed on the premises where it was bought.”

Cele said he was aware of outlets which continue to violate lockdown regulations and put  patrons at risk of Covid-19 infection.

He said some outlets were breaking the rules by locking patrons inside their establishments at midnight, and allowing them to remain inside to continue drinking.

“I want to remind all business owners who insist on flouting the rules that the long arm of the law will catch up with you and you will lose your operating licence.

“We report to the liquor board which issues licences, and it is up to them to take the law further regarding whether to shut down your business. On our side, we open a criminal record,” he said.

BY UNATHI NKANJENI

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