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Smoking laws could affect business

ALEXANDRA - The Gauteng Liquor Forum wants Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi to reconsider proposed new smoking laws.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum demanded the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi reconsider his proposed ban on indoor smoking and related regulations.

The new law proposes that smokers will not be allowed to smoke outside a shebeen within 10m of a neighbour’s door or window. In addition it will be shebeen owners’ responsibility to ensure that patrons were not in violation of the new laws. The forum which represents the rights of 18 Liquor Traders Associations said the law was unjust.

President of the forum, Linda Madida said they were not against the rules, but the new laws were impractical and impossible. “This law will have an impact on businesses and people would have to smoke in a neighbours’ house if they had to get out of a shebeen to go and smoke, especially in Alexandra where houses are so close to each other,” Madida said.

General secretary of the Responsible African Food and Beverage Association, Cedric Chauke said, “There is an understanding between shebeen owners and their neighbours and this law would be an opportunity for corrupt police to take bribes.”

Shebeen owner Zakhele Khonjolwayo said he was not happy about the minister’s proposed law as this would affect his business. “My customers smoke outside and nobody complains,” said Khonjolwayo.

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