Alcohol consumption is under the spotlight again.
Alcohol consumption is under the spotlight again.

Tshwane liquor associations urge police to clamp down on those breaking the law

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Dec 28, 2020

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Liquor associations in Tshwane have urged law enforcement agencies to clamp down on taverns, shebeens and liquor traders who blatantly disregarded the lockdown restrictions on alcohol distribution.

Oupa Mthombeni, chairperson of the Tshwane Liquor Traders Association, said prior to the second wave, they had held talks over two months to urge liquor traders to abide by the safety regulations of the national lockdown.

He said this followed a series of meetings with the Gauteng Command Council, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.

Mthombeni said despite the talks, some liquor traders had all but ignored their calls for strict adherence to the regulations and went as far as continuing to sell alcohol well after the cutdown hours.

He said even though a number of places have been fined, he believed it was time law enforcement got into gear and finally put a stop to places they were well aware were breaking the rules.

“Its time for the police to stop taking bribes and actually do their jobs because they are the key to everything. Tshwane overall is a problem but I think Mamelodi has to be worst hit.

“People in Mamelodi are just not listening to us or taking this thing seriously at all and that is the problem in most townships. People want to see how bad things get before they feel the need to adhere to the regulations.”

Mthombeni said they fully supported the call made by the Liquor Traders’ Formation (LTF) for the government to consult the industry before implementing a total ban on the sale of alcohol.

LTF convener Lucky Ntimane said: “We are asking the government to consult the alcohol industry about any impending decision that will have a direct impact on its survival and the millions of jobs at stake. Whilst we also recognise the need to balance the issue of lives of our people, we are now dealing with rumours that there will be a total ban by the president imminently,”

“We are not calling for a relaxation of the current restrictions that are placed on alcohol sales but are calling on the government to show empathy around any discussion that seeks to threaten the livelihoods of our liquor traders as well as the alcohol industry at large.”

Isaac Mahamba, spokesperson for the Tshwane metro police, they continued clamping down on non-complying liquor traders but most of them were now finally coming to the party.

He said they experienced problems in some Tshwane townships where a few liquor traders were still selling after the 10 pm cut-off.

Mahamba said Mamelodi was the most problematic area so far but they would be keeping a close watch on it.

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