Background on Public Interest
The public interest test is based on the principle that licensed premises must operate within the
interests of the local community. The public interest defined as:
“an interest in common to the public at large or a significant portion of the public and
which may, or may not involve the personal or propriety rights of individual people”
The public interest provisions enable the licensing authority to consider a broad range of issues
specific to each licence or permit application, and flexibility exists to assess each individual
application on its merits.
The concept of 'public interest' has become relevant to liquor licensing applications for the grant of applications regarding liquor licences not only in the City of Cape Town, but also globally. As a result of changes to the Liquor Act which came into force during 1 April 2012, it is now necessary for certain applicants in the City of Cape Town to satisfy the Liquor Licencing Tribunal and Sub Council in extension in trading hours that it is in the public interest for the application to be granted.
For the purpose of satisfying the authorities that the grant of the application is in public interest, applicants in each area are required to provide a range of information which addresses various matters relevant to the application. This information is to be included in submissions lodged with the application and are known globally as "Public Interest Assessment" (PI) submissions. (Extensive well motivated public interest motivation)
In considering the public interest, applicants should demonstrate the positive aspects of their
application (including the social, economic and health impacts). It is not sufficient for applicants to merely demonstrate that the grant of the application will not have any negative impact.