Frequently Asked Questions
•Who may apply for a liquor license?
•Why must a trader have a license?
•How much does it cost to apply for a new license?
•How to lodge an application for a liquor license?
•What happens in the situation where there are objections, to the application?
•Why must a trader have a license?
•What conditions may be imposed by the Liquor Board?
•Why must an application for consent use or rezoning be lodged with the application?
•Can a license holder sell or give his/her license to another person?
•What happens if a licensed premises causes a nuisance to the neighbours?
•Can a license holder remove a license from certain premises?
Q. Who may apply for a liquor license?
Any person who is not disqualified in terms of the Liquor Act (Act no. 27 of 1989). In general terms, disqualified persons are:
•Persons who served a prison sentence without the option of a fine in the preceding 10 years. (The liquor Board may make an exception in certain cases);
•An un-rehabilitated insolvent;
•A spouse of any of the above.
Q. Why must a trader have a license?
•A licensee is required by the Liquor Act, for any person who is selling, manufacturing or distributing liquor.
•A license makes the holder thereof legally responsible to the government as far as protecting the public interest is concerned.
•A person trading without a license is breaking the law and the South African Police Services may take steps against him or her and close down business and confiscate the assets.
Q. How much does it cost to apply for a new license?
•For every application a fee of R200 is paid by the applicant.
•When a license is issued the license holder pays one of the following amounts to the Receiver of Revenue, depending on the type of license applied for, e.g.
– A tavern license costs R100.00
•A wholesale license costs R2 000.00
•A restaurant license costs R250.00
•A liquor store license costs R1 000,00
•A Special (other) license costs R1 000.00
•A Special license (accommodation) R1 000.00
•It must be noted that if an applicant uses a lawyer or a consultant he/she will also charge their own fee for this service. This fee differs from lawyer/consultant to lawyer/consultant.
Q. How to lodge an application for a liquor license?
An applicant may apply through a lawyer or a liquor consultant or apply in his or personal capacity. Application forms (FORM 1) are obtainable at the Municipal Library or a copy can be obtained from the Liquor Board, an applicant can also purchase regulations (contained in the Government Gazette No. 13997 dated 1 June 1992) published in terms of the Liquor Act, which contains FORM 1 and FORM 2. This application form comes in triplicates, with one copy for the Designated Police Officer (D.P.O.) and the original plus one copy to the Liquor Board.
•The Act requires that an application be typed.
•After FORM 1 has been completed (in triplicate), the application must be forwarded to the Magistrate in the district where the licensed premises are/will be situated. This must be done on or before the first Friday of the month.
•Two weeks before the above mentioned process, form 2 (notice of intention to apply for a liquor license) must be completed and forwarded to the Government Printers in Pretoria for publication in the Government Gazette on the first Friday of the month.
•The notice in the Government Gazette is the only notice of the application given to the public and it is therefore important that the community watch dog organizations, such as the community police forums and rate payers’ organizations, note applications in their area in the Government Gazette.
•Objections to the application may be lodged with the Magistrate within 29 court days i.e. excluding weekends and public holidays.
•The Designated Police Officer for the district must lodge a report with the Magistrate not later than 35 days after the application was lodged.
•As a matter of policy the Liquor Board requires the D.P.O to inform the local community police forum (or the local rate payers association in areas where a community police forum is not active) of the application and must state in his or her report that this has been done.
•The applicant has 42 days within which to reply, in writing, to the police report and objections (if any).
•If no objections were received and the police report has been received, it can, upon the request of the applicant, forthwith be forwarded to the secretary of the Liquor Board.
Q. What happens in the situation where there are objections to the application?
•Because the application must be in the public interest, members of the public have the right to read through the application and lodge objections, if any, with the magistrate.
•The magistrate forthwith after receipt of an objection forwards the objection to the secretary of the Liquor Board.
•The Board will consider the application and all the objections received and will, on the merits of the case decide whether there, should be a hearing or use the information on hand to reject, approve or postpone the application.
•If the Board decides on a hearing all the objectors and the D.P.O. are served with subpoenas to give evidence.
•The applicant may engage a legal representative to represent him or her at the hearing.
Q. Why must a trader have a license?
•The distributor is not allowed to supply the trader with liquor while he or she does not have a license;
•The trader will always be a victim of lawlessness and fear and may be subjected to having his premises raided by the police.
Q. What conditions may be imposed by the Liquor Board?
Examples of common conditions are:
•No loud music or loud entertainment in a restaurant;
•A restriction on trading hours;
•Restrictions to ensure that the license is only used for the purpose that it was intended, e.g. that a restaurant does not become a night club.
•NB: there may be more conditions.
Q. Why must an application for consent use or rezoning be lodged with the application?
•As a matter of policy the Liquor Board requires written proof that the premises for which a license is being applied for is correctly zoned. It is suggested that the correct zoning requirements be met before an application for a liquor license is brought as the Liquor Board will provide proof of correct zoning. The municipality under whose jurisdiction the premises is situated, must be satisfied that:
•The zoning by-laws of the local authority have been met;
•The building in which the trader will conduct his/her business is suitable for that purpose and complies with the approved plans.
Q. Can a license holder sell or give his/her license to another person?
•Yes, he or she can do so by means of an application in terms of 113 of the Act for a transfer of ownership which must be lodged with the magistrate.
•Cost is R100 payable to SARS.
Q. What happens if a licensed premises causes a nuisance to the neighbours?
•A nuisance caused by the trader may be in breach of the Liquor Act or the conditions of the license. Any person who feels aggrieved may lodge complaints with the Local Station Commissioner or the D.P.O, who will take steps against the trader. Where a community organization is active, such organization must be informed. If the problem persists, the D.P.O is required to send a report to the Liquor Board. The Liquor Board may hold a hearing and place conditions on the license, if necessary, or may even withdraw or suspend the license, if necessary.
Q. Can a license holder remove a license from certain premises?
•Yes, an application can be made in terms of section 120 of the Liquor Act for the removal of a license, provided the prospective premises fall within the same magisterial district.
•Each license is issued subject to certain conditions. The above information should in no way be interpreted as meaning that the mere compliance therewith will guarantee a successful application. Each application is considered with regard to the APPLICANT, the PREMISES and the PUBLIC INTEREST (on its merits).
•The annual fees in respect of the different classes of licenses are payable no later than the 31 December of every year. Failure to pay the annual fees timeously will result in the lapse of the license with the result that the license holder will have to re-apply for the license.
•If the annual fees are not paid by the end of December a penalty is levied for license holders who pay the fee in January. His penalty is 50% of the annual fee. Fees paid in February will result in a 100% penalty being levied against such license holder. Annual fees are not payable after the end of the month of February.
THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL LIQUOR ADMINISTRATION AS A GENERAL GUIDELINE TO APPLICANTS FOR LIQUOR LICENCES AND TO OBJECTORS TO THE GRANTING OF LIQUOR LICENCES, THE LIQUOR ACT AND ITS REGULATIONS ARE COMPLEX AND PROFESSIONAL ADVICE REGARDING ITS WORKING IS ADVISED.