The Trade and Industry Department says 10 illegal liquor outlets were shut down and fines to the value of R15 000 were issued in a blitz in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.
The blitz, aimed at curbing the illegal trading of liquor, creating awareness on the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse and ensuring that licence holders complied with the conditions, visited at least 35 liquor outlets.
“The operation success was due to 12 illegal traders being issued with fines for non-compliance to the value of R15 000 and 10 illegal liquor outlets that were closed down while 1 275,15 litres of liquor were confiscated. During the operation, three arrests were made for murder, possession of dagga and for the illegal connection of electricity,” the department said.
The blitz operation was carried out in Durban North, Phoenix, Tongaat and Verulam.
South African Police Service National Liquor Control Colonel Sello Motau has warned against the illegal trade of liquor.
“Partnerships between the police, other government departments and agencies can curb illegal liquor trade. The police can’t win the war on crime and illegal liquor trade alone. Education and awareness is one key area that we need to beef up to curb illegal liquor trading,” Motau said.
With the festive season approaching, the government has had to broaden inspections in order to include education and create awareness around substance abuse for the operation to have more of an impact.
Social workers have also been part of the raids, to ensure that those affected by substance abuse receive help.