‘This is not lockdown’ — Limpopo liquor traders are against midnight alcohol sales cut-off

25 July 2023 - 13:03
By SINESIPHO SCHRIEBER
The National Liquor Traders organisation says it will take the provincial government to court over Limpopo's new regulation restricting alcohol sales. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell The National Liquor Traders organisation says it will take the provincial government to court over Limpopo's new regulation restricting alcohol sales. File photo.

Limpopo liquor traders have vowed to take the provincial government to court over the new regulation restricting alcohol sales after midnight. 

Limpopo MEC for economic development, environment and tourism Rodgers Monama announced the provincial government would from August 1 implement a law restricting the sale of alcohol after midnight.

Monama said alcohol was a contributing factor in gender-based violence, child abuse, community instability, trauma incidents, rape and other crimes in the province. 

National Liquor Traders convener Lucky Ntimane said the organisation was taking the government to court over the regulation. 

“The province has misdirected itself in making pronouncements regarding trading hours in its regulation as this is in direct conflict with the constitution of South Africa, which precludes provincial governments from interfering on trading hours of liquor outlets,” Ntimane told TimesLIVE.

He said businesses would be affected by the amended restrictions in the province.

“It’s a mess. Uber drivers will be affected because their working time will be reduced. Waiters and waitresses will earn less because they are paid on an hourly basis.

“Hotel staff working at bars will get less money because they have to close bars early. Artists will no longer get an opportunity to perform.”

Ntimane said liquor traders suffered severely during the Covid-19 lockdown when alcohol sales were restricted.

He said business owners would not take government restrictions lightly this time.

“We have made submissions to the effect these regulations be suspended as we seek a more sustainable solution to fight crime together, without taverns being used as a scapegoat for fuelling crime in the province,” he said.

“This is not during lockdown when we were sensitive to people losing their lives and did not challenge the government. We want to hear if they are giving us a reprieve. If not we will embarrass them. That is not even a threat.

“If we have to go to the Constitutional Court for this one, we will do that. We will not accept it.” 

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