At your service

Spotong chats to leading NTHA liquor traders

Portia’s Place

Owner: Portia Madlabane

Location: 5518 Ext Z12, Makgalema Street, Sebokeng

Organisation: NTHA

One of my challenges is that I am often harassed by the police even though I am fully compliant.

How did you get into the tavern trade?

My late husband and I started dealing in liquor in 1989. We started so small and I remember that we pushed a wheelbarrow with our stock! We then got a shebeen permit and slowly grew our business. After my husband passed on, I struggled to operate because the permit was on his name but I persevered and I am very proud of how my tavern has grown through my struggles.

What challenges do you face in this industry?

One of my challenges is that I am often harassed by the police even though I am fully compliant. I also have a problem with criminals targeting my tavern because I am a woman and they think that it will be easy to steal from me. I am in the process of employing security because it is starting to get dangerous for me and my staff.

What do you enjoy most about being a tavern owner?

I enjoy the fact that I am able to support myself with my own business. I also enjoy educating my patrons on responsible drinking and they respect me because I am a responsible trader. I love the fact that my patrons are relaxed and comfortable when they visit and they appreciate the meals that I sell and prepare for them. My tavern is an extension of me in every way!

How do you give back to your community?

I have very poor neighbours who are suffering financially but I do my best to accommodate them whether they need a decent meal to eat or something to keep them warm.

Hadis Kitchen

Owner: Halefele Motsau

Location: 1232 Moshoeshoe Street, Zone 10, Sebokeng

Organisation: NTHA

How did you get into the tavern trade?

I was struggling financially and I decided to do something for myself and my children. I started with two cases in my home, which was so small at the time.

What challenges do you face in this industry?

I find that my business is very quiet until payday every month and it seems to be getting worse as time goes by. I know that my patrons are struggling too and I am grateful that they choose to come to me for entertainment but I do get worried sometimes because business is slow.

What do you enjoy most about being a tavern owner?

My tavern has afforded both of my children the opportunity to attend university. My last-born graduated recently and I am proud to say that they are working in their chosen professions. If I didn’t start my tavern, my kids wouldn’t have had that opportunity so I would say that is what I have enjoyed most about being a tavern owner – giving my kids a big boost in life by sending them to university!

Do you have future plans for your tavern?

Yes, I need to renovate. I desperately need to build an outdoor section as I am still operating out of my lounge and dining area inside my home. It is hard because my business is literally operating in the same space that I am meant to relax in my home so I can never really switch off and take time for myself. It is my wish to start operating outside of my home – and soon!