• Ruan Vd Merwe


If you trade in liquor then the most important asset in your business is your liquor licence or registration. Our experience is that the renewal of the licence easily is forgotten resulting in penalties as a minimum, to loss of the licence as a reality.

For your benefit we make a few notes about this important issue which enjoys such limited attention:

· Every liquor licence must be renewed each year, irrespective of where in the country you trade. It is only in the Western Cape where one can elect to do it every second year. Failing such election the default remains yearly.

· In the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and at this point also still Limpopo and the North West Province, all licences must be renewed by the 31st of December of a year.

· In Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KZN licences must be renewed by the day immediately before the day in which the licence was “born”.

· Each of the provinces has its own process for renewal. In some cases failure to renew is serious but survivable, but in other provinces it is fatal. The latter are Free State, KZN, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

· In Gauteng, Limpopo and North West there is a period of grace of two months after the lapse-date during which the licence can be revived by paying penalties, but after the grace period of two months the licence is dead. In the Western Cape one can apply for mercy, but if lucky, it will be at a price!

· In Gauteng the Gauteng Liquor Board – GLB – has empowered itself to “revive a licence after the period of grace by imposing further penalties, but that is illegal as the Gauteng Act does not provide for this.

· In KZN one must initiate the renewal proses six months before the due date for renewal and in Mpumalanga three months before the said date.

· Each of the provinces also has a different process for renewal and the renewal fees payable differ widely between the provinces as well as types of licences.

· If you are in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, North West Province or Limpopo, you must work now on renewing your licences.

· In the case of Mpumalanga KZN and Gauteng it depends on the birthday of your licence but a great number of them, those which were already existing when the provincial legislation came into operation, the renewal date also is 31 December. You are still safe for Gauteng but for KZN you renewal application should have been lodge already in June and for Mpumalanga in September.

Please check your licence and contact us for advice and assistance to ensure that your most important asset in your business does not quietly die!

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