The Liquor Trade in Kwazulu-Natal

The KwaZulu-Natal statute is the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Licensing Act 2010, which came into force on 1 March 2014.

A. Retailers and traders

  1. No person may sell liquor unless he is licensed in terms of the Act. It is a criminal offence to contravene this provision.1

  2. It is, moreover, an offence to sell liquor in contravention of the terms and conditions of a licence.2

  3. It is a crime to sell or supply liquor to any person who is visibly intoxicated, violent, disorderly or under the influence of a drug having a narcotic effect.3

  4. If the owner or occupier of licensed premises allows intoxicated, violent or disorderly behaviour on the licensed premises, he commits an offence.4

  5. Any person who involves themselves in, or permits any illegal activities on licensed premises commits a crime.5

  6. With regard to vehicle deliveries from a liquor store, the licensee commits an offence if:
    • the liquor he delivers was not ordered from the licensed premises before its dispatch;6
    • an invoice or delivery note was not issued;7
    • a copy of the invoice or delivery note is not in the delivery vehicle from the time of dispatch to the time of delivery;8 and
    • the original invoice or delivery note has been retained on the licensed premises;9 or
    • he delivers the liquor to an address other than the address shown on the invoice or delivery note.10
  7. Once you are licensed by the Liquor Authority, you may not materially change the nature of the business in respect of which the licence was granted without its consent, and commit an offence if you do.11

B. Licensed premises and storage

  1. You may not sell or supply liquor from any place other than the licensed premises.12

  2. It is a crime to carry out any structural alteration, addition, reconstruction or extension to the licensed premises without the consent of the Liquor Authority.13

  3. A licensed person commits an offence if he does not:
    • reflect his licensed status and licence or permit number on all correspondence;
    • display a certified copy of the licence at any of the premises, including a certified copy of any terms and conditions applicable to the licence or permit; and
    • where applicable, display a certified copy of proof of payment of the annual fee.14
  4. It is an offence to store liquor in any place other than the licensed premises, or such additional place as is approved by the Liquor Authority.15

  5. You may not sell liquor from such additional place of storage, and it is a crime to do so.16

  6. It is an offence to be in possession of a firearm on licensed premises.17 18

C. Employers

  1. It is a crime to employ, in connection with the sale of liquor, any person who:
    • has not attained the age of 16 years; or
    • within the preceding three years, has been convicted of contravening the Act.19
  2. An employer may not:
    • supply liquor to a person as an inducement to secure his employment;
    • supply liquor to an employee instead of wages;
    • deduct from an employee’s wages the cost of liquor supplied to that employee, or to any other person on his behalf; or
    • withhold payment of the wages of that employee, pending the repayment of a debt in respect of the sale of liquor.

    It is an offence to contravene any of these provisions.20

D. Consumers

  1. If you are intoxicated, violent or disorderly on any licensed premises you commit a criminal offence.21

  2. The same goes if you are intoxicated, violent or disorderly in a public place.22

  3. It is a criminal offence to accept delivery of liquor which is unaccompanied by an invoice or delivery note describing:

    • the name, address and licence number of the supplier; as well as
    • the nature, quantity and purchase price of the liquor supplied.23

E. Micro-manufacturers24

  1. It is an offence for any person to micro-manufacture liquor unless he is licensed in terms of the Act.

  2. It is a crime to micro-manufacture liquor in contravention of any terms and conditions of the licence.25

  3. Subject to the conditions of his licence, a micro-manufacturer may not manufacture liquor in volumes exceeding the prescribed threshold volume and commits an offence if he does.26

  4. It is a crime for any micro-manufacturer to distribute liquor that it has manufactured to any person other than:
    • another manufacturer;
    • a distributor; or
    • a retail seller (to the extent, permitted by the licence).27
  5. Indeed, a micro-manufacturer may not sell or distribute liquor to anyone other than a licensed person, and commits an offence if he does.28

  6. A micro-manufacturer may not lease his licence to another person or allow another person to carry on business in terms of the licence. It is an offence to breach this prohibition.29

  7. The above provisions all apply also to the micro-manufacturing of methylated spirits.30

F. Sports grounds and special events

  1. Any person who sells liquor at a special event without being in possession of a ‘special events permit’, issued for that event, commits an offence.31

  2. If you are the holder of a special events permit, you commit a crime if you:
    • fail to comply with the conditions imposed by the Liquor Authority;32 or
    • sell liquor other than:
      • for consumption on the premises where the special event is held;
      • at the place where, and during the times when, the special event is held, as set out in your application for a permit;
      • or for more than a total of 30 calendar days per year.33
  3. You may not lease, sell, cede or in any other way transfer the permit to any other person, or allow any other person to carry on business in terms of the permit.34

  4. It is a crime to introduce, possess or consume any liquor on a sports ground (to which the public has access) that is not a licensed premises, except on any licensed premises situated on the sports ground concerned.35

G. Minors36

  1. It is a criminal offence to sell liquor to a person under the age of 18 years – that is, a minor.37

  2. You also commit an offence if you give or supply liquor to a minor; or, if he is in your care or under your supervision you allow him to consume liquor, except in negligible quantities in the performance of a religious ceremony or service.38

  3. Allowing a minor to consume liquor on premises of which you are the licensed person, or which premises are under your control, is a crime.39

  4. Indeed, you may not even allow a minor to be in a part of the premises upon which he may not be (in terms of the Act, or in terms of a condition of the licence), save if the minor is being trained at the premises.40

  5. Any minor who does any of the following commits an offence:41
    • obtains or consumes liquor in contravention of the Act; or
    • misleads any person as to his age in order to:
      • obtain or consume liquor; or
      • gain access to parts of licensed premises which he may not enter.
  6. It is a crime to misrepresent yourself (or any other person) to be over the age of 18 years42 in order to persuade a licensed person, or his agent or employee, to sell or supply liquor to you or to that other person.43

H. Bribery and obstructing the Liquor Authority

  1. If you wilfully hinder or obstruct the Liquor Authority, or any member thereof, in the performance of his functions, you commit an offence.44

  2. Any member of the Liquor Authority (or a member of staff, advisor, agent or other person employed by, or acting on behalf of, the Liquor Authority) who, directly or indirectly, accepts any unauthorised fee or reward in connection with any service rendered or anything done or offered by the Liquor Authority is guilty of an offence.45

  3. Any person who, in connection with any service rendered or anything done or offered by the Liquor Authority, bribes or attempts to bribe, or corruptly influences or attempts to corruptly influence, any member of staff or any adviser, agent or other person employed by, or acting on behalf of, the Liquor Authority is guilty of an offence.46

I. Liquor Authority hearings

  1. If you fail to appear before the Liquor Authority on the date and at the time and place when called upon to do so (without having appointed a person to appear on your behalf), you commit an offence.47

  2. If you fail to remain in attendance until the conclusion of the hearing (or a meeting) without the leave of the chairperson it is also an offence.48

  3. If you have been called upon to appear and give evidence, or to produce any book, plan or other document or article and you fail or refuse to do so, it is an offence.49

  4. Refusing to take the oath or make an affirmation is also an offence.50

  5. If you wilfully disrupt a hearing or meeting of the Liquor Authority you commit an offence.51

J. Inspectors

  1. If an inspector requests you to do so, you must produce any document relevant to an inspection (if it is in your possession). It is a crime to fail to do so.52

  2. You must answer every question from an inspector truthfully, and to the best of your ability. It is an offence not to do so.53

  3. If you are the owner or occupier of any premises, you must provide any facility and assistance that is reasonably required by an inspector to conduct an inspection effectively, and you commit an offence by not doing so.54

  4. If an inspector is of the opinion that the terms and conditions of a licence or permit or the provisions of the Act have been breached, he must serve upon the licensed person or permit holder (or any person in control of licensed premises) a compliance notice. Any person who fails to comply with a compliance notice is guilty of an offence.55

K. False information

  1. If you submit or provide any of the following in connection with any application, objection, representation, reply to any objection, or complaint in terms of the Act, you commit an offence:56
    • any information which you know to be false or misleading; or
    • information which you ought reasonably to have known was not true; or
    • any false document or document which purports to be but is not a true copy of an original document.
  2. Any person who falsely claims to be authorised to charge, or collect fees on behalf of (or by direction of) the Liquor Authority is guilty of an offence.57

L. Service stations

  1. No person may sell liquor in a convenience store franchised to a service station selling petrol, diesel or other petroleum products to the public. To do so is a criminal offence.58
  1. Section 38(1). 

  2. Section 93(1)(a) read with section 93(5). 

  3. Section 76(1)(e) read with section 76(3). 

  4. Section 93(1)(c). 

  5. Section 93(1)(i) read with section 93(5). 

  6. Section 71(1)(a) read with section 71(3). 

  7. Ibid

  8. Section 71(1)(b) read with section 71(3). 

  9. Section 71(1)(a) read with section 71(3). 

  10. Section 71(1)(b) read with section 71(3). 

  11. Section 72(1)(a) read with section 71(2). 

  12. Section 80. 

  13. Section 72(1)(b) read with section 71(2). 

  14. Section 63(2) read with section 63(5). 

  15. Section 73(1) read with section 73(3). 

  16. Section 73(2) read with section 73(3). 

  17. This does not apply to the owner or manager of the premises, or a police officer on duty. 

  18. Section 93(1)(g). 

  19. Section 79(1) read with section 79(4). 

  20. Section 79(3) read with section 79(4). 

  21. Section 93(1)(b). 

  22. Section 93(1)(d). 

  23. Section 71(2) read with section 71(3). 

  24. This means a person who produces liquor at or below the threshold volumes prescribed by the Minister. At present, these regulations are in Government Notice 980 of 17 August 2004. Regulation 12 provides the volumes as: (a) for manufacturers of beer, 100 million litres per year; (b) for the manufacture of traditional African beer, 50 million litres per year; (c) for manufacture of wine, 4 million litres per year; and (d) for manufacture of spirits and/or any other liquor, 2 million litres per year. 

  25. Section 93(1)(a). 

  26. Section 60(1)(a) read with section 60(6). 

  27. Section 60(1)(b) read with section 60(c). 

  28. Section 60(3) read with section 60(6). 

  29. Section 60(5) read with section 69(6). 

  30. Section 60A. 

  31. Section 53(6)(a). 

  32. Section 53(6)(b) and (c). 

  33. Section 53(4)(a) – (c). 

  34. Section 53(5). 

  35. Section 93(1)(e). 

  36. A ‘minor’ is, by law, any person 17 years and younger. 

  37. Section 76(1)(a) read with section 76(3). 

  38. Section 76(1)(b) read with section 76(3). 

  39. Section 76(1)(c) read with section 76(3). 

  40. Section 76(1)(d) read with section 76(3). 

  41. Section 76(2) read with section 76(3). 

  42. Note: This must be a mistake – a person ‘over the age of 18 years’ is someone who is 19 and older. The legislature must have meant ‘over the age of 17 years’. 

  43. Section 93(1)(f). 

  44. Section 94(e). 

  45. Section 93(2). 

  46. Section 93(3). 

  47. Section 94(a). 

  48. Section 94(b). 

  49. Section 94(c). 

  50. Section 94(d). 

  51. Section 94(e). 

  52. Section 87. 

  53. Section 88(2) read with section 88(5). 

  54. Section 88(4) read with section 88(5). 

  55. Section 89(16) read with section 89(1). 

  56. Section 93(1)(g). 

  57. Section 93(4). 

  58. Section 95.