THE Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s failure to investigate whether liquor licence applications comply with Nelson Mandela Bay’s municipal bylaws has resulted in the municipality having to drag liquor outlets to court for non-compliance.
At a public health portfolio committee meeting yesterday, councillors heard how some liquor outlets were situated next to child-care centres and places of worship.
The Liquor Act allows for consultation with ward councillors to give the go-ahead, but not with municipal officials who are more knowledgeable on issues of zonal requirements and bylaws, the report stated.
In her report to councillors, public health executive director Dr Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni said an investigation into the matter had revealed that the only form of public participation that took place in issuing licences was a single form completed by a ward councillor.
"In most cases residents do not participate in the process.”
She said it cost the municipality up to R50000 to drag the non-compliant liquor outlets to court, while the outlets spend a mere R300 to acquire the liquor licence. She proposed a task team, made up of municipal officials and provincial liquor board members be set up to deal with the problem.