On 15 June the National Tourism and Hospitality Association (NTHA) had a general meeting that was attended by the Gauteng MEC of Economic Development with his officers; the meeting was also attended by members of the organization. All branches where present.
The president of NTHA gave a presentation for the purpose of the meeting, introducing the Ndofaya Academy school that unites liquor traders against crime. This project is sponsored by SAB as a means of giving back to our community.
Patrick Lesajane and Lunga from the Liquor Board were also present .
The MEC Lebohang Maile said he was happy to have been part of the meeting where traders and business people gather and the government announces its intentions, as he has a role to play and members also have a role to play.
On 15 June the National Tourism and Hospitality Association (NTHA) had a general meeting that was attended by the Gauteng MEC of Economic Development with his officers.
He mentioned liquor traders as people who help in growing the economy of the country, yet they have to do better. He also said that SAB, Brand House, distillers and other breweries have to help in empowering the traders in terms of skills like crate packing. He further said that black business people need to change their mind set and start working together. “Our brothers come to us as government and ask for a place to open a mall, then they will be called for a meeting and in the meeting he will come with Mr Van Der Wyk or Mr Smith as a partner and that where the problem is.”
He said he is aware that there are people who don’t have licences and they sell responsiblly and there are also those that sell irresponsibly. Those people are going be in a serious problem with the law as the government is sick and tired of people dying of other people’s negligence. He did mention that he wants to know all those people who don’t have the right documents to sell alcohol. He added that the Liquor Board or government officials must not come to our meetings and give us hope, they should come with solutions.
The MEC said that police should stop taking people's alcohol, it is wrong – we need to have traders representatives present when and where there are raids. There must be no more spilling alcohol as it is waste; there will be need for a warehouse where all confiscated alcohol will be kept. The only way to get the alcohol out of the warehouse will be by means of auctioning it at a rightful price if the owner did not collect.
Government is going to have a campaign where they will visit all the shebeens, taverns, and businesses one by one. Traders can do their own co-operative banking and come to him for more help; then something like a township stock exchange can be done.
Questions were raised about the municipality issuing permit holders with summonses telling them to rezone or close their business within 30 days. The MEC said we need to call an agent meeting with the traders of Ekurhuleni together with the Department of Town Planning and fix this matter once and for all.
Compliance and transfers remains to be explained. He will have to check with Liquor Board about permits that are still with them and see if they can’t they them. Lastly he said we need to solve problems so that we can have progress.
Kwa-Thema Liquor Traders
A year ago the liquor traders of Kwa-Thema in Ekurhuleni held a number of meetings with the intention to form an association. We searched and went to the Liquor Board for help. We were told that there is no way they could help us as there are 9 associations that are already recognized by the Liquor Board. The only way was to join one of them. They gave us a list of associations. We searched and we were impressed with NTHA, so we affiliated and never looked back. Then we formed Kwa-Thema Liquor Traders Against Crime under the NTHA association as our mother body. On 20 April 2016 we launched our branch in Kwa-Thema. We have formed a close relationship with our SAPS , CPF and community members, as we have also managed to support and organize a campaign against domestic violence, assault, GBH and substance abuse together with SAPS and EMPD correctional services, CPF and other stake holders. We also held our annual closing event at an old age home where we were honoring and pampering our elders as part of giving back to our senior citizens.