Approved or Rejected

In August the Gauteng Government published a paper for comment regarding the increase of fees in respect of liquor licences.  Comments were made and lodged by various people in respect of this document.

The fees set out in this document were to be approved by the legislature.

The new fees have apparently been approved by the Legislature and will be published to come into effect which in all probability will be the 1 December 2016 (THIS IS NOT EVEN TWO WEEKS AWAY).

Section 58 of the Gauteng Liquor Act states that:

“Every licence shall be renewed annually within twelve months from date of issue by payment of an annual prescribed fee.  These prescribed fees are set out in regulations published in respect of the type of licence in Schedule 1.

If this new liquor licence Act is brought into operation on the 1st December, as expected, then every payment in respect of a renewal for a Gauteng liquor licence payable on or after 30th November 2016 will need to be paid in terms of Schedule 1 which is being replaced by the new Schedule 1 in the Regulations.

If a liquor licence which is due for renewal on the 1st December has been paid this payment will have been made in terms of the existing Schedule 1 which is in operation until the 30th November. From the 1st December the new Schedule 1 comes into operation and the new fees are payable.”

Accordingly in my view a licencee who has made payment of his annual renewal in terms of the Gauteng Liquor Act for a liquor licence in respect of which the renewal is due on or after the 1st December 2016 will not have made payment as required in terms of Section 98.  Accordingly, this licence will lapse.

The average licencee will be totally unaware of the situation until he approaches the Liquor Board for a renewal form in respect of his licence for the 2018 calendar year and is advised that his prescribed fee in terms of Section 98 of the Liquor Act was not paid for 2017 and accordingly he or she no longer has a valid Gauteng liquor licence.

He or she will have to apply for a liquor licence ab initio or possibly make application for late payment of the portion of the licence fee which they did not pay in December 2016 which will now become payable with penalties.

As startling as the interpretation set out above may be, even more startling are the new fees prescribed for the renewal of a Gauteng liquor licence.  The new fees include:

 

TYPE OF LICENCE PREVIOUS FEE NEW FEE
HOTEL R3500 R6000
RESTAURANT R3000 R4500
GAMING R5000 R10000
PUB OR TAVERN R5000
GROCERS WINE LICENCE R2500

 

Interlocutory liquor licence applications such as transfers will now cost R2 500, alterations to premises that hold a valid licence R1 000 and nominations are R1 250 (instead of R750).  Occasional liquor licence fees are also being increased from R1 000 to R2 000 per event (with a maximum of seven days).

 

It appears that the argument of the Legislature is that it has been so long since the fees were increased that had they been increased on an annual basis they would be even higher than the new fee structure which is being introduced.

It is imperative that any person with a Gauteng liquor licence due for renewal on or after the 30th November of this year contact me urgently to ensure that the necessary is done to renew the liquor licence and formally lodge the proof of the fees and the additional fees with the Liquor Board to ensure that the proof of payment is accepted.

Any queries must be directed to info@slotow.co.za with a copy of the renewal for 2015 or if a renewal has been paid for 2016 a copy of that renewal and the proof of payment.

 

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