POLITICS

Makhura Intervened In Liquor Board Stoush

The Gauteng Premier wasn't impressed with the extension of outlets' trading hours to accommodate the ANC's upcoming festivities.

04/01/2017 15:00 SAST | Updated 04/01/2017 15:01 SAST
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ANC Gauteng deputy chairperson; David Makhura speaks during the Gauteng ANC manifesto launch at FNB Stadium on June 04, 2016 in Johannesburg.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Wednesday said he had requested the Liquor Board not to extend trading hours during the ANC's 105th anniversary weekend celebrations.

"Upon being aware of the decision to relax operating times, Premier Makhura engaged with the MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, and MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, requesting that the board withdraws its decision," his office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The premier also said he had engaged with the community safety department to ensure all liquor trading over the weekend was legal.

"We call upon law enforcement agencies to do their work and for communities to work with us in promoting responsible drinking," said Premier Makhura.

He also said police would be out and about, and that roadblocks and various measures would be in place to ensure licensing conditions for liquor operators were enforced.

"The issue of alcohol abuse is a matter of great concern to us," he said.

On Wednesday, the Gauteng Liquor Board said it had taken the decision not to grant permission to alcohol-selling venues planning to extend their trading hours in order to cater for the ANC's celebrations.

While the discretion to grant the extension of hours does exist, regarding the applications received so far, board chairperson Fhedzisani Pandelani told News24: "We are not persuaded to relax it by even one minute."

Pandelani said that, while the board had received over 1 000 applications applying for an extension of their trading hours for the upcoming weekend, none of them met the strict criteria needing to be met for such an allowance. -- News24Wire