Halyards Props Spur Building
Having no consent from the Ndlambe Municipality to occupy the old Spur building stops transfer of liquor licence. Image: Hennie Marais

The Ward 10 Committee today declined to approve the transfer of a liquor licence (Tahoe Spur) following the submission of a “serious and valid” complaint as the new applicant is occupying the building without the consent of the principal owner, Ndlambe Municipality.

The matter relates to an application to transfer the liquor licence held in the name of Barnacles Trust, who conducted business in the name of Tahoe SPUR Steak Ranch, to the new tenant of the building, the old Spur building, Funky Ripple (Pty) Ltd.

Ward 10 Committee chair, Councillor Ray Schenk, initially said that it was a simple matter for the Committee to agree upon till the town planning department of Ndlambe threw a spanner in the wheel.

Ndlambe’s town planner Ntombi Ngxwashula told the committee that a very serious objection to the transfer of the liquor licence was received by her department. She said that she checked the attendance register to see whether the complainant’s name was on it but it was not.

“The current tenant who has a lease agreement with Halyards Properties (Pty) is in the building without the consent of the council. We have asked Stuart Boucher from Halyards Properties on numerous occasions to provide the municipality with written proof that he is the lawful sub-lessee of the building but he has not done so to date,” she said.

Yet, in the lease agreement that Funky Ripple signed Boucher emphatically claims to be the lawful sub-lessee of the property which belongs to the Ndlambe Municipality. Clause 18.1 read, “The Landlord warrants to the Tenant that the Landlord is the lawful sub-lessee of the immovable property and every element comprising thereto and the Landlord has the full legal right to let the Property to the tenant”.

But Ngxwashula disagrees. “When we asked him for written proof of his sub-lease he just brushed us off.  The property also forms part of other sections of the marina that is mired in controversy and legal action is imminent,” she said.

The liquor licence of Barnacle Trust expires at the end of December 2017 and they cannot extend the licence as they obviously do not occupy the premises for which the licence was initially issued. The non-approval of Ward 10, therefore, may, therefore, leave the new tenant without a liquor licence after the end of December 2017.

Schenk also said that the refusal of a licence would have a major financial impact on Funky Ripple who according to him, has already invested a considerable amount to fit the property out. But Ngxwashula said, “They were warned about this possibility even before they entered into the agreement.”

Rick Pryce from Sunshine Coast Tourism said that this was devastating news as it will directly impact on tourism. “What will a tourist say if they can’t have a beer when visiting the venue?” he said.

Pryce was not sure however whether he should step into the fray with all the legal issues surrounding the matter.

He did suggest that Schenk should meet with role players to see what can be done about the situation. “Even if the new owners of the restaurant can get a temporary licence to see them through the festive season,” he said.

Ngxwashula said that she would contact role players but that she will also have to inform the Liquor Board of Ward 10’s refusal to approve the transfer.

And while all of this is happening, Funky Ripple still remains in the precarious position of being in the building “without consent” of the principal owner, Ndlambe Municipality.

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