Tourism, liquor laws re­viewed

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

THE Ac­com­mo­da­tion, Cater­ing and Tourism En­ter­prise Act (ACTEA) of 1997 and Liquor Li­cens­ing Act of 1998 are be­ing re­viewed to, among other things, reg­u­late the brew­ing and sell­ing of liquor and over­see­ing the op­er­a­tions of busi­nesses mush­room­ing in the cater­ing and tourism sec­tors.

An act­ing direc­tor in the Min­istry of Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Cul­ture ( MTEC), Lieket­seng Selinyane, said the first phase of re­vis­ing the Liquor Act had been com­pleted last year with in­put from the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC). The Act is now be­fore a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee for fi­nal re­view.

The re­vised Liquor Act will, among other things, find the best way to reg­u­late the sell­ing of tra­di­tion­ally-brewed liquor and other liquor brands that are be­ing brought into Le­sotho un­der “mys­te­ri­ous” cir­cum­stances.

“The old liquor law was si­lent on tra­di­tion­ally-brewed al­co­hol which is mostly by peo­ple living in ru­ral ar­eas and its sale has not been reg­u­lated by law,” Ms Selinyane said.

“Brew­ers of tra­di­tion­ally-brewed al­co­hol should also have li­cences as is the stan­dard prac­tice.”

She said the re­view of the laws would de­fine the modus operandi of other gov­ern­ment de­part­ments with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of award­ing trad­ing li­cences, to help over­come chal­lenges in the sale of al­co­hol.

“We have found there is need for gov­ern­ment de­part­ments re­spon­si­ble for is­su­ing trad­ing li­cences, such as the Min­istry of Trade and In­dus­try, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing (MTICM), as well as the Maseru City Coun­cil and MTEC to work to­gether in mon­i­tor­ing closely the ac­tiv­i­ties of traders”, she said.

Ms Selinyane fur­ther stated it was im­per­a­tive for the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to work to­gether to pre­vent the mis­use of li­cences by traders who usu­ally sell goods which are not per­mit­ted on their trad­ing li­cences.

“There are traders who, de­spite be­ing awarded a li­cense to op­er­ate only a ‘snack bar’, which is just a small shop, some­times ex­ploit that li­cence to also sell liquor,” said Ms Selinyane.

“We also still have the prob­lem of street ven­dors who op­er­ate cater­ing busi­nesses with­out ob­tain­ing the proper li­cens­ing for it.

“Th­ese peo­ple would have been awarded a stall on the street by the coun­cil but do not re­alise there is also a need for them to ob­tain a cater­ing li­cence for that kind of busi­ness.”the re­vi­sion of ACTE, she added, will im­prove the mon­i­tor­ing of the busi­nesses which have emerged in the coun­try due to the grow­ing tourism in­dus­try.

“The for­mer ACTE was not up to date with mod­ern de­vel­op­ments … to reg­u­late the tourism in­dus­try,” Ms Selinyane said.

Through the re­vised Act, MTEC is also seek­ing to take over con­trol of the gam­bling sec­tor from the Min­istry of Fi­nance, she said, as it is un­der the purview of the min­istry.

Ms Selinyane also ap­pealed to event or­gan­is­ers to re­frain from hir­ing peo­ple who have not been is­sued with cater­ing li­censes.

Such prac­tices, she said, not only ham­per the mon­i­tor­ing of the sec­tor but also prej­u­dice qual­i­fied busi­ness­peo­ple who are not af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to make a living from their law­ful trade.

Min­istry of tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Cul­ture Act­ing Direc­tor Lieket­seng selinyane

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.