For the first time, traditional beer traders might be required to have a licence to trade.
The proposed Gauteng Liquor Bill now has provision for sorghum beer and micro-manufacturer liquor licences.
The economic development portfolio yesterday held the fifth and last public hearing in Mabopane.
If passed, the new bill will replace the 2003 Gauteng Liquor Act.
Committee chairman Siphiwe Mafika Mgcina said having licences for traditional beer would help regulate the industry and stop illegal liquor trading.
“Sometimes the traders double dip and sell beer as well. We want to make sure that that does not happen. Also, some of the people who make their own concoction add illegal liquids that are harmful to communities, and they do not meet SABS standards. We need to know what people are drinking.”
Mgcina said if this part of the bill was passed, they would work closely with health inspectors to ensure traders and manufacturers did not produce illegal liquor.
He said illegal liquor trading was costing the economy millions of rand.
“This will help in regularising the industry.”
Hammanskraal shebeen owner Mary Semenya said she was happy that traditional beer would now be regulated.
“I will need two gates – one for traditional beer customers and the other for normal beer customers. I will continue the same way with my shebeen.”
Mgcina said the committee was happy with the attendance at the hearings.
“The people who have been coming are not only owners, but also churches and school governing board members.”
Some of the other meaures proposed in the bill include that alcohol traders should not allow pupils wearing school uniforms on their premises. - The Star