Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has warned private establishments to adhere to the law in light of a probe into 186 businesses for allegedly flouting liquor regulations.
The investigations are being conducted by Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and includes a case for Tin Roof as an alleged site of a Covid-19 “super spreader” event.
This comes after at least 89 people were infected with the coronavirus – most of them school pupils from Cape Town’s southern suburbs – after attending an event at the Claremont venue last week.
“It is critical that we all, regardless of our age, play a role in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. This requires both individual and business responsibility, by ensuring that we always wear a mask, keep a distance, avoid large gatherings where there is bad ventilation, and wash our hands regularly. All private establishments must adhere to the law,” Winde said.
He added: “The Western Cape Government has devised detailed safety guidelines for businesses, and provided safety kits which include hand sanitizers, masks and posters to small and informal businesses.”
Cayla Murray, spokesperson for Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, said that the investigation of Tin Roof is currently with the Inspectorate of the WCLA.
“Should evidence be found that the license holder might have transgressed the Western Cape Liquor Act or his license conditions, the matter will be referred to the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT). The Tribunal may, if found that there were indeed transgressions of the Act or license conditions, take action against the license holder.”
She said a total of 186 investigations were conducted so far of which 24 investigations came in after the start of lockdown alert level one. A total of 19 licensees were sanctioned by the LLT. Most cases that were referred to the LLT after the start of the lockdown alert level one are still pending.
“Operating a night club contrary to the Disaster Management Act Regulations is currently a criminal offence under alert level one. If no disco or entertainment is being offered, the premises is strictly speaking not operating as a night club, but as a bar. This is currently not prohibited.”
“The fact that a nightclub owner conducts business without allowing entertainment during the current alert level, does not render his operations illegal. He would therefore still be able to allow sit-downs during which liquor is served and social distancing and safety protocols are observed,” Murray said.
Reports say Tin Roof’s owner believes the bar is being used as a scapegoat, saying young people visiting the bar on that night had been to other venues before coming there.
Businesses not abiding by regulations can be reported here: Business Safety Complaint Form