COMMENTS AND REPRESENTATIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY) ON THE LIQUOR BILL (B2312003)
Our firm has been involved in obtaining liquor licences for and advising primary producers on liquor related matters for more than 40 years.
1.2. Our clients include a large number of wine producers in the Stellenbosch and surrounding areas.
1.3.We have been instructed by more than 70 producers and other role players in the wine industry to advise them on developments in respect of the drafting of the Liquor Bill as well as the proposed provincial liquor legislation for the Western Cape.
2. DEVELOPMENT OF LEGISLATION RELATING TO WINE PRODUCERS
2.1 The wine farmers of the Western Cape have since the earliest days been empowered to dispose of their wine with minimum restrictions. Since grapes for the production of wine have until recently primarily been grown in the Western Cape, the earliest legislation affecting the primary producer can be found in old Cape Ordinances. These measures remained in force until they were repealed by the Liquor Act, 1928 (Act No. 30 of 1928). During 1977 this Act was replaced by the Liquor Act, 1977 (Act No.87 of
1977), which was in turn replaced by the Liquor Act, 1989 (Act No.27 of 1989).
2.2. The 1928 Act basically retained the situation as set out in the pre-Union Ordinances as far as primary producers were concerned. In terms thereof no licence was required by a primary producer for the sale of his wine to a licensee. A primary producer who held a wine farmer's licence was furthermore entitled to sell his wine in certain minimum quantities during certain hours to almost any person.
2.3. The 1977 Act provided for three distinctive channels by means of which the primary producer could dispose of his products:
2.3.1. Firstly he could sell it to members of the public on his farm or the premises of the co-operative or company concerned if an authority in this regard had been issued to him under the Act.
2.3.2. Secondly it could be sold to members of the public at premises away from the farm or the premises of the co-operative or company if a wine farmer's licence had been issued to him.
2.3.3. Thirdly, as a person exempted from this Act, if the wine concerned was manufactured by the primary producer from grapes produced on land owned or lawfully occupied by him, or from grapes purchased or otherwise acquired by him, and it was furthermore produced in a cellar situated on such land or in a central cellar belonging to or occupied by him, it could be sold in quantities of at least 18 litres to a manufacturer of vinegar, the holder of a licence or another person who was exempted from the provisions of this Act.
2.4.The situation as set out above was retained in the 1989 Act, and is today still applicable.
2.5. As a result of the intricacies of the wine licencing provisions in the present legislation, primary producers have through the years to an increasing extent been forced to acquire other types of liquor licences in order to satisfy the specific needs of their undertakings. Examples of these are special licences to sell their own wine and wine purchased from other primary producers, restaurant licences which enabled them to operate restaurants and wholesale liquor licences which enabled them to dispose of the wine which was produced from grapes not grown by themselves, and of wine obtained from other sources.
3' REPRESENTATIONS ON LIQUOR BILL Section 1 : "manufacturer", "micro-manufacturer3':
As there is no indication in the Bill of what the prescribed volume will be it is at this stage uncertain how many wine producers will be considered manufacturers and who will be affected by the provisions which we will refer to below.