End of Fish Hoek’s dry spell

Customers queuing outside the Pick n Pay bottle store waiting for the doors to open on its first day of trade.

History was made on Tuesday June 4 as the Pick n Pay bottle store in The Arcade officially opened its doors to the public, making it the first bottle store to trade in Fish Hoek.

Last year marked the 200-year anniversary of Fish Hoek being “dry” due to its historic 1818 title deed restriction, which prohibited the sale of liquor, (“Fish Hoek’s dry town status explored,” Echo, November 30,2017).

However, this all changed in December last year when the Liquor Appeal Tribunal overturned a ruling from the Western Cape Liquor Authority which had declined the original application lodged by Pick n Pay in January 2017 on the basis of it not being in the interest of the public (“Valley’s dry town status safe,” Echo, June 28, 2018).

First-time customers queued patiently outside the doors before the official opening at 9am. When the doors opened, customers rushed inside to explore the new store.

Pick n Pay co-owner, Julian Hobson, said they were thrilled that the store was finally open.

He thanked his partner, Gary Williams, for setting up the store.

“We also want to thank the community for their support,” he said.

Following the success of Pick n Pay’s application, Shoprite Checkers Fish Hoek has also submitted an application for a liquor licence.

The ruling made by the Liquor Appeal Tribunal last year is the basis of Shoprite Checkers’s application, which reads: “Due to a recent judgment handed down by the high court, Fish Hoek can now also have an off-consumption liquor licence in what was previously a dry town.”

However, the ruling was not made by the Western Cape High Court as indicated in the application but by the Western Cape Liquor Board Appeals Tribunal.

Shoprite Checkers proposes a “high quality self-service liquor shop”.

The application further states that it is “no doubt in the public interest” as the placing of a bottle store adjacent to the supermarket will result in a better distribution of liquor and would contribute towards making the supermarket and adjacent centre a one-stop shopping centre and will aid in job creation.

Shouldtheapplicationbe approved,thebottlestore, Shoprite Liquorshop, would be in Triangle Court, on the corner of First and Dunster avenues, opposite Shoprite Checkers’s premises.

The liquor officer for Fish Hoek, Warrant Officer Peter Middelton, confirmed that an application had been received on Thursday May 30.

The news of the application was met with mixed emotions by Fish Hoek residents on social media.

While some responded to a post on social media, saying “the more the merrier”, others posted links with statistics stating one in ten deaths in South Africa are alcohol related.

Some expressed concern about the location which is “already a bad area” while others responded with “hell no”.

Donald Moore, of Dry Fish Hoek, said it was inevitable that once one licence had been granted there would be more applications.

“The fact that one has been granted does not necessarily mean that every application must be granted,” he said.

Mr Moore said he would object to the application once it was advertised and the public participation process was open.

“I will do all I can to drive a campaign to get as many Fish Hoek residents to lodge objections to the application,” he said.

Western Cape Liquor Authority spokeswoman Nwabisa Mpalala confirmed that the Western Cape Liquor Board had received the application on Friday May 31.

She said the application would be advertised in the Provincial Gazette tomorrow, Friday June 7.

Once an application has been lodged it is required that a notice of lodgement of application for a liquor licence be published in a local newspaper.

The advertisement in the local newspaper, she said, was to be published in the week of June 24.

Objections may be lodged in terms of Section 39 of the Liquor Act up until the end of 28 days from the publication of the notice in a local newspaper. Objections must be lodged with the Liquor Licensing Tribunal or the designated liquor officer at the local police station.

The objection must carry the full name, identity number and address of the objector, and a copy of the objection must be given to a representative of Shoprite Checkers. A representative has yet to be appointed.