The Uncertain Future of Shebeen Permits and the Court Judgement

Musa Ntshangase Secretary, Gauteng Liquor Forum

The future of shebeen permits is uncertain, as a result of Gauteng Liquor Board’s (GLB) unwillingness to deal with controversies surrounding the conversion of shebeen permits to shebeen licences. This is after the passing of the late MEC Nkosiphendule Kholisile, who made an assurance that he was going to engage all those who were against the conversion of permits.

 These include the Yeoville Bellevue Ratepayers Association and Melusi Ncala, a mere resident of Yeoville Bellevue. The parties applied for a court order to review and set aside the decision of the MEC to promulgate the provisions of the Gauteng Liquor Regulations, and that it was beyond MEC’s powers or authority to make such proclamation.

In November 2017, there was a court judgment concerning shebeen licences in the High Court of Johannesburg. Judge Matojane considered remedial actions as follows:

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” The struggle continues!

1.      The regulations were declared invalid, but suspended for two years for GLB to remedy the defects.

2.      Shebeens will be phased in with public participation and notification.

GLB has not made any pronouncement regarding this court judgment. Liquor traders are still waiting to hear from the Board.

Regarding the current MEC, the less said about him the better. The man has not shown any interest in addressing this matter. The last time he invited liquor traders, he promised that his legal team would push for this case to be heard early. That was three years ago. GLB then came up with an online licence application system, which was rejected by liquor traders. The Act of 2003 still applies but the Board wanted to implement a system that is contradictory to the Act, which requires a proof of affiliation to association. The new Gauteng Liquor Act has not been enacted into law yet, which excludes this requirement. In our view as liquor traders, GLB should engage all stakeholders – in particular, the municipalities – in addressing the issue of notification and public participation.

Fellow liquor traders, may I share this fact with you: “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do. We have got to get up every morning with determination if we want satisfaction at the end of the day.” Let us join forces and fight together.

On 28 November 2017, the Gauteng Liquor Forum conducted an elective annual general meeting and welcomed the newly elected executive committee. Thabang Mashia and his colleague from SAB presided over these elections, and declared them free and fair.

The newly elected office bearers are:

1.    President                     Fanny Mokena

2.    Chairperson                Thabo Modise

3.    Treasurer                    Monde Dladla

4.    Secretary                    Musa Ntshangase

5.    Deputy Secretary        Joel Thakhuli

6.    PRO                            Phumzile Ratladi

Our mission statement as Gauteng Liquor Forum elected office bearers is to represent liquor traders at all levels of government, and to engage with all stakeholders to achieve our objectives of respectable and responsible liquor trading.

In Vosloorus, where I reside, we hold regular meetings with law enforcement agencies, the CPF and Business against Crime, discussing compliance and crime prevention strategies. More robberies are committed at our outlets than at any other places, so it is important that we all work together in reducing and combating crime.

Some crime prevention tips include:

·           Place security signs on points of entry.

·           Have security personnel searching patrons entering the premises.

·           Have security guarding customer vehicles.

·           Have adequate lighting, both inside and outside your business.

·           Install silent alarms to notify your security company and the police in case of emergency.

·           Install security cameras.

·           Install cash register protection.

·           Minimise the amount of cash in your register.

To Mr Madida: we always pray for your speedy recovery, and hope that the newly elected leadership will continue where you left off due to illness.

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” The struggle continues!