Ricochet News

'Chronic shortage of liquor inspectors in Eastern Cape a contributor to crime'

Aug 3, 2018
'Chronic shortage of liquor inspectors in Eastern Cape a contributor to crime'

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board cannot escape some of the responsibility for the high rate of violent crime in the Eastern Cape, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday. 

"Ineffective monitoring and regulation of legal and illegal liquor outlets due to a shortage of inspectors is a contributing factor to alcohol related crimes committed in the province. In 2016 non-compliance with the Liquor Act by taverns was cited as a root cause of the increase in crime by the provincial police commissioner," says Andrew Whitfield (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

"In light of this, it is shocking that only 30% of the required number of liquor inspectors are currently employed in order to carry out the critically important mandate of The Eastern Cape Liquor Board."

He said that, in response to a parliamentary question, the MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Lubabalo Mabuyane, revealed a chronically understaffed liquor board inspectorate with only 16 inspectors employed against an optimal requirement of 45 inspectors.

"This situation is made worse by the fact that 6 are senior inspectors who are also required to carry out administrative duties that keep them out of the field."

To view the response, please click HERE.

Whitfield said that the devastating combination of rising unemployment in the Eastern Cape and the lack of adequate resources to regulate the proliferation of illegal liquor outlets is a recipe for disaster.

"It is a widely recognized fact that alcohol is a major contributing factor to violent crime. A 2016 analysis of murder dockets revealed that in 48% of murders across the country either the victim or the perpetrator were intoxicated. In the same year half of all murders in South Africa occurred over weekends, with 70% taking place between 6pm and 8am," he described.

"I will be writing to the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs to inquire as to why these critical vacancies have not been filled and by when they will be filled. 

"The DA calls on the MEC to do more to clamp down on the causes of lawlessness in our province as it relates to the liquor industry."