‘Black traders treated un­fairly’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - SOYISO MAL­ITI

AS WE gear up for the fes­tive sea­son, liquor traders in the town­ships are scram­bling to ob­tain trad­ing li­cences.

Out of 8 500 li­cences across the province, only 5% be­long to black liquor busi­ness own­ers, for­mer Liquor Tri­bunal mem­ber Thu­lani Pike has re­vealed.

Pike quit the tri­bunal in 2016 cit­ing an “anti-black ten­dency”.

While the West­ern Cape Liquor Au­thor­ity wouldn’t ver­ify the num­ber of li­censed black traders com­pared to their white coun­ter­parts.

Pike al­leged the DA used zon­ing and com­plex leg­is­la­tion to marginalise liquor traders in the town­ships, as most town­ship ar­eas are zoned as res­i­den­tial.

He re­ferred to a mall that is be­ing built in Philippi, which has a planned ma­jor liquor store that al­ready has an ap­proved li­cence. Pike said liquor traders in the town­ships had to jump through hoops and could never get a li­cence be­fore their premises were built.

Mar­tin Makhasi, from the Nyanga com­mu­nity polic­ing fo­rum, con­curred, say­ing the ap­pli­ca­tions from big busi­nesses were not given to CPFs for vet­ting, as per law, while they were given town­ship liquor traders’ ap­pli­ca­tions to ex­am­ine.

Nyanga Liquor Traders As­so­ci­a­tion chair­per­son Daniel Maswana said it had up­set the small busi­ness com­mu­nity that a white-owned liquor com­pany had been able to ob­tain a liquor li­cence even be­fore the con­struc­tion of the Philippi mall had been com­plete.

“They do their ut­most best to turn us down and they fight with ev­ery­thing they have. They don’t is­sue li­cences, clamp down on il­le­gal traders and have even re­stricted our times, while the big com­pa­nies con­tinue to even trade for longer hours on Sun­days,” said Maswana.

He said even though town­ship liquor traders sell smaller vol­umes of al­co­hol com­pared to big-name com­pa­nies, they were fined the same – from R60 000 up to R120 000.

“The turnovers are not the same, but we pay the same amount. This is ridicu­lous,” Maswana said.

He said they were told that there were too many liquor stores in the town­ships. Maswana said this was star­tling to them as the num­ber is mea­gre com­pared to busi­nesses in the CBD and on Voortrekker Road.

West­ern Cape Liquor Traders Or­gan­i­sa­tion chair­per­son Al­lan Sa­muels said he was or­gan­is­ing a meet­ing with Com­mu­nity Safety MEC Alan Winde.

Phillip Prinsloo, West­ern Cape Liquor Au­thor­ity deputy di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ed­u­ca­tion and stake­holder re­la­tions said zon­ing is a hur­dle for town­ship traders. He said the au­thor­ity had sug­gested to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to re­view their zon­ing schemes.

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