Usage of alcohol is linked to ill-health and negative social behaviour, and, as a result, government bodies almost always try to restrict access to alcohol, through regulating where and when it can be sold. The impact of such regulations is usually limited, however. This paper examines attempts to regulate informal drinking places (shebeens) in low-income residential areas in Cape Town. Firstly, the literature on the regulation of drinking places, and the ideas about alcohol as a public health problem underpinning this, are reviewed. Secondly, the context of Cape Town and the prevalence and nature of shebeens in low-income residential areas Cape Town are discussed. The paper then looks at the ways in which different levels of government have tried to prevent or control shebeens in Cape Town over the past decade. The paper focuses on two initiatives in particular: the Western Cape Provincial Government's new Liquor Act, and the City of Cape Town's new zoning scheme. Finally, the policy implications of these attempts are discussed.
Smit, W. Liquor regulations and zoning schemes : attempts by the state to control shebeens in Cape Town. Presented at Society of South African Geographers (SSAG) conference : building critical conversations in geography, Cape Town, 20 June 2012. (2012)