If you're in Gauteng this weekend you can benefit from a "weekend pass" and go out for a drink later than usual.
This is because the Gauteng Liquor Board has announced it will extend the liquor trading times at venues — including restaurants, pubs and clubs — to accommodate an influx of visitors expected in the province for the ANC's 105th anniversary.
Thousands of ANC supporters are expected to gather at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg between January 6 and 8, and the province anticipates a surge in consumer expenditure.
The relaxing of the liquor trading hours has been dubbed the "weekend pass".
But the alcohol-selling venues planning to extend their trading hours will have to cough up thousands of rand to do so.
Board chairperson Fhedzisani Pandelani said businesses could expect to pay R9 000 to extend their opening hours for the weekend.
Gauteng Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile's spokesperson, Wisani Ngobeni, said the extended hours would be determined on a case-by-case basis and depend on which hours each business applied.
For example, a bar that usually closed at 2am could apply for an extended licence to allow it to stay open until as late as 4am. No establishments would be allowed to continue selling liquor after 4am.
The board said thousands of people were expected in the province to celebrate the ANC's 105th anniversary.
"The event is expected to contribute positively to the economy of the province, especially in the areas of tourism and hospitality," it said in a statement.
Maile said in the statement that he was satisfied with the temporary relaxing of trading hours.
Those businesses that qualified for extended hours would have to make a commitment to work with local law enforcement agencies, the board said.