Liquor traders meet with Limpopo MEC over new alcohol curfew
Liquor traders are calling for the province to suspend the implementation of reduced trading hours.
Liquor traders in Limpopo met with the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Rodgers Monama on Monday to discuss the controversial Limpopo Liquor Act and its regulations.
Limpopo alcohol curfew
This comes after Monama announced last week that from next month outlets and nightlife spots with liquor licences will no longer be allowed to operate after midnight in a bid to curb crime and other social ills like gender-based violence, child abuse, community instability, trauma incidents, and various sexual offences in the province.
The meeting with the MEC was held in Polokwane and attended by department heads and senior managers of various government entities.
The National Liquor Traders (NLT), the Drinks Federation of South Africa (DFSA), the Sekhukhune Liquor Traders Association and the Trade Union for Musicians of South Africa (TUMSA) all attended the meeting.
The NLT convenor, Lucky Ntimane, said the liquor traders are “concerned about the proposed regulations of the Limpopo Liquor Act insofar as trading hours and licence renewals fees are concerned”.
“We have made submissions to the effect that both these regulations be suspended as we seek a more sustainable solution to fight crime together without taverns being used as a scapegoat in fuelling crime in the province,” Ntimane said in a statement.
Role of municipalities
The liquor traders are also concerned that the province has “misdirected itself in making pronouncements regarding trading hours in its regulation as this is in direct conflict with part B section 5 of the Constitution of South Africa, which precludes provincial governments from interfering in trading hours of liquor outlets as this is the competence of local government and by extension municipalities.”
The liquor traders said they remain hopeful that the outcome of the meeting will be in the best interest of the liquor traders who cannot afford a reduction in their trading hours as this will ultimately mean less income and less salary for staff.
“Traders are not the only ones affected as this will also impact the entertainment industry as artists will be booked for fewer hours,” said Ntimane.
The liquor traders said they will wait for feedback from the MEC on whether their proposals have been accepted.
Their proposals include suspending the implementation of the reduced trading hours. This is to allow time for better stakeholder consultation, conducting a socio-economic impact assessment and further research on whether reduced trading times for onsite consumption will have the desired effect.
Monama committed to provide feedback prior to the proposed implementation date of 1 August.
The liquor traders said they reserve their right to any available recourse should the outcome not be satisfactory so as to safeguard the livelihoods of their members.