The general meeting of liquor traders against crime took place on 3 July at Uncle Tom’s Hall in Soweto. It was attended by liquor traders from different sectors, including Orlando, Meadowlands, Diepkloof, Kliptown, Dobsonville, Thulane, Freedom Park, Naledi, Lenasia, Vlakfontein, Kwa-Thema, Daveyton, Katlehong, Magaliesburg, Tarlton, Mogale City, Braamfontein and Diepsloot, as well as different association heads from NTHA, GAULIBA, BVFBA, KALTA, SEDIBENG, SALTHA, Liquor Board, South African Breweries & provincial SAPS from different regions along with community safety activists.
The purpose of the meeting was to re-introduce the structure of Liquor Traders Against Crime, to disclose domestic violence, contact crime, illicit alcohol, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and armed robberies that have escalated in traders’ outlets. Every day, 5 - 10 outlets are being robbed, in some cases, owners and patrons are killed for money, stock and cellphones. Cases are opened with evidence footage but the SAPS fail to arrest 99% of the suspects. The cases don’t go to court, which is sad because 90% of traders are women who have children at school and are also creating jobs in their communities.
Joseph, a delegate from the province, addressed the house and said he knows the structure of Liquor Traders Against Crime very well, from 2001 when it was launched in Meadowlands with its focus on reporting crime. He also said that re-uniting liquor traders against crime will play a big role in combating crime because traders will report crime directly to their offices. Crime statistics will be reduced. He also spoke about how traders should behave and conduct their businesses, and not be a nuisance by making excessive noise and not cleaning up empty bottles that are left on the streets by patrons. He then stated that traders should make sure that they clean their outlets every day as patrons who drink in a clean place act and behave better than those who drink in a dirty place. He also told all chairpersons of different sectors to interact with their liquor officers.
Every day, 5 - 10 outlets are being robbed, in some cases, owners and patrons are killed for money, stock and cellphones.
Nozipho from the Gauteng Liquor Board told traders about compliance and code of conduct and reminded traders that the liquor board is the only place where people should apply for their licenses, on their own, or with the help of the association or a consultant, not in the police station or any other way. You can only get your license through an application – you cannot buy them as they are not for sale.
The community policing forum (CPF) chairperson of Orlando was also happy that this structure will help if we work hand in hand combating crime. They received 200 donated bicycles, which makes their job easier, as patrollers are patrolling every zone on their bicycles.
Phindile from Community Safety shared good news with everyone, and showed her love for her job and was honest about her experience by not being biased, even in the eyes of the police and her community. She told the liquor board about the corruption in their offices, where they were selling permits to traders for R3000, and also liquor officers selling permits and taking money from traders, confiscating liquor wrongfully, and traders who are trading irresponsibly not observing operational times, not respecting neighbours and not cleaning the mess made by their patrons in the streets. She ended off by requesting that Joseph have a talk with liquor officers as they were corrupting the nation by taking bribes.