About the application process

Liquor Licence Applications (Section 36)

  • What is a liquor licence?

A liquor licence is a document that is issued to a person that gives them the legal right to sell or micro-manufacture (make on a small scale: less than 10 000 litres) alcoholic beverages.


  • What are the different types of liquor licences?

Micro-manufacturing for on and off consumption — a licence for the micro manufacture

(small scale manufacturing) and sale of liquor for consumption (drinking) both on and off the premises where the liquor is sold.

Consumption on — a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption (drinking) on the premises where the liquor is sold.

Consumption off — a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption (drinking) off the premises where liquor is sold.

Consumption on and off — in exceptional circumstances, a licence for the sale of liquor consumed (drank) both on and off the premises.


  • What disqualifies a person from holding a liquor licence?

• Anyone who, within five (5) years prior to applying for a licence, was sentenced to imprisonment without the option of paying a fine.

• Anyone who, within five (5) years prior to applying for a licence, was declared unfit to have a liquor licence.

• Anyone who previously had a liquor licence that was cancelled within twelve (12) months prior to this application.

• Anyone who is an unrehabilitated insolvent (an insolvent whose estate is controlled in terms of the Insolvency Act).

• Anyone who is a minor (under 18 years of age) upon the date the application is being considered.

• The spouse (husband or wife) or life partner of the above.

• Anyone who is mentally ill as defined in the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 (Act 17 of 2002).

• Any company, close corporation or co-operative, in which any of the above mentioned has a shareholding, member’s interest, or a membership share. Any trust of which he or she is a trustee or beneficiary, and any partnership of which he or she is a partner, is disqualified


  • How to apply for a liquor licence.


You can apply for a liquor licence through a lawyer, or liquor consultant, or in your personal capacity (in your own right, by yourself).

To apply for a permanent liquor licence, you need to complete the following forms (available in the Western Cape Liquor Regulations document):

• Form 3 – page 51

• Form 4 – pages 52 – 59

• Form 5 – page 60

• Form 6 – page 61

The completed forms need to be typed on standard A4 size paper. Please ensure that all the information requested to complete the forms is supplied, and that it is correct. Applications must be accompanied by:

• A certified copy of the applicant’s ID.

• A comprehensive floor plan of the premises.

• A site plan of the premises.

• A description of the premises.

• Colour photographs.

• Written representations in support of the application.

• A zoning certificate, or copy of a planning application submitted to the municipality.

• Proof of payment of application fee (R1 250).

More detailed information regarding what the site plan, floor plan, description of premises and colour photographs need to include, is available in the Western Cape Liquor Regulations document. You can also request a checklist from the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA).

  • How is the application lodged (placed)?

An application is delivered either by hand or post.


  • Where and when are applications lodged?

With the Western Cape Liquor Authority, at their offices on the 6th Floor of the NBS Waldorf Building, 80 St Georges Mall, Cape Town, 8001; and with the Designated SAPS Liquor Officer in whose area of jurisdiction (command) the business is located. Although licences may be lodged at any time, the first Friday of the month following the application being submitted, is recorded as the date the application is lodged. Please ensure that all the required documents, as listed on the front page of the application form, are attached.


  • What is the application procedure?

Step 1: The application must be lodged at the same time with both the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) and the Designated Liquor Officer (DLO) in the area of the proposed licenced premises. Applications must be lodged by 14:00 on the last Friday of any month. If the Friday is a public holiday, the application should be lodged on thelast working day of that month.


Step 2: Once the application is with the WCLA, it will be checked to ensure all information and documents are included. (If all information and documents were included in the original application, ignore the rest of this step and step 3.) A first letter will be sent to the applicant, consultant and DLO identifying which document or information is outstanding. The letter will give a date by which all outstanding information should be submitted. The time frame will be approximately two (2) weeks.


Step 3: Should the information or documents requested in the first letter not be complete by the due date, a final letter will be sent requesting the information and giving a date by which the information/documents must be submitted. This is the last opportunity to provide the information. If it is not provided, the application will be presented to the Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) without the required information, which could have a negative impact on the LLT’s decision.


Step 4: The application will only be advertised once it contains all relevant information. The applicant must display a notice as in Form 6 in all three official languages of the Province. It must:



LIQUOR LICENCE in boldface, upper case letters, at least 2 cm in height,

and in black lettering, not less than 0.5 cm wide on a white background.

• Be at least A3 size standard paper.

• Be waterproof.

• Remain in place for at least twenty-eight (28) days from date of publication of the application being lodged.

• Be in a prominent place at the proposed licence premises.


Step 5: Should anyone make representations for or against the application, the applicant will be served with (presented with) a copy of the representations. The applicant has the option to respond to the representations/objections. If the applicant decides to respond, they must lodge their response with the Authority and DLO no later than forty-two (42) days after the publication of the notice of lodgement of the application.


Step 6: Now that the applicant has responded/or not responded, the complete application is put before the LLT and all the applications are considered. The outcome of the application will be communicated to all affected parties.

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