How long must we wait for change?

More must be done to normalise the liquor industry.

When I took over as SALTA president from Saint Madlala (may his soul rest in peace), I thought the spadework had been done.

However, we are back to square one. Madlala must be turning in his grave. His vision of having shebeens licensed is proving to be a façade – an unreachable goal.

Sufficient efforts have not yet been made to normalise the liquor industry. Restructuring the liquor industry and giving priority to the facilitation of entry and empowerment of new entrants is not happening as expected. Individuals who benefited from previous policies remain beneficiaries under the current legislation.

The poor shebeener is still struggling to get licensed. Why the Gauteng Liquor Board is not working in collaboration with municipalities is a mystery.

The poor shebeener is still struggling to get licensed. Why the Gauteng Liquor Board is not working in collaboration with municipalities is a mystery.

The matter between the Yeoville Ratepayers’ Association and the MEC for Economic Development

The MEC was found to have acted outside the powers vested in him. Public participation in the consideration of applications for shebeen licences never happened.

Why the MEC acted in this way is yet another mystery.

The way forward

The phasing in of shebeens into the Gauteng Liquor Act requires the collaboration of all stakeholders, mainly the town planning and spatial planning department, the Liquor Board, SAPS and liquor traders.

We, the liquor traders, sincerely thank SAB for having engaged us after the Yeoville judgment. SAB is a friend indeed. The MEC for the DED is probably still studying the judgment.

SALTA President, Mish Hlophe