We can all agree that the trade of alcohol, whether it be a tavern, a liquor store or even at a restaurant, can be very lucrative. Now that I think about it, maybe one day I can get myself some shares at SAB.
It is these economic benefits that have driven many to operate under the radar of the Liquor Authority, a good example being the township ladies who brew traditional beer and sell it in the backyard of their houses at make-shift taverns. This also includes the countless illegal taverns and liquor stores all over the country.
Now one might get away with it for a while but should you get caught, there are dire consequences. You would have seen this from the multiple raids the police conducted last year under the instructions of Minister of Police, Bheki Cele. Illegal liquor businesses were closed, alcohol seized and people arrested.
The Free State Gambling and Liquor Act 6 of 2010 prescribes that any person trading without a license or manufacturing liquor without a license is guilty of an offence and if convicted by a court, may be sentenced to prison for not more than 10 years, alternatively, receive a fine or receive both a fine and imprisonment. The consequence of being found guilty by a court, not only results in you having a criminal record, which will impact your future ability to find employment or enter into business contracts with various parties, but will also result in you not being eligible to validly hold a liquor license, as you would be disqualified.
I would urge anyone who wishes to trade in liquor to ensure that they are properly licensed and comply with the provisions of the National or Provincial Liquor Acts.