Cape Town liquor by-law

Cape Town has reminded the city's business owners to prepare for the upcoming liquor by-law which will reduce the hours of alcohol consumption.

The by-law, which comes into effect on 1 April, will see off-licences banned from selling alcohol on Sundays or after 18.00 from Monday to Saturday, while late-night clubs, hotels and casinos can serve until 02.00 or, if they apply for an exemption, until 04.00.

On-premises consumption of alcohol in residential areas is permitted from 11.00 to 23.00, and at sports or community clubs from 11.00 until midnight. Licenced wineries will be allowed to sell sparkling wine seven days a week from 08.00 to 23.00, if consumed with food. 

City councillor Garreth Bloor said that the city had created a special exemption for licensed premises that sell liquor for consumption on site.

However opponents of the by-law warn that its introduction will only fuel the illegal liquor trade as consumers will move to unlicensed "shebeens" after 18.00.

South Africa is among the top three heaviest-drinking nations in the world, with the highest number of heavy drinkers and binge drinkers found in the Western Cape.