DECISION TO ALLOW EXTENDED LIQUOR TRADING HOURS IN GAUTENG PROVING REVERSED

| January 5, 2017

The Liquor Board has reversed its decision to extend trading times for liquor traders in Gauteng, SouthAfrica's smallest but most populous province, this weekend when thousands of supporters of the country's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) are expected to gather in Soweto in Johannesburg, to celebrate the 105th anniversary of its founding.

The board had announced Tuesday that it was relaxing liquor trading times for licensed in-house liquor traders to accommodate the ANC's 105th anniversary celebrations at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.

With its latest decision Wednesday, all liquor traders in Gauteng will therefore be expected to operate according to their normal trading times, says the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Economic Development in the provincial government, Lebogang Maile, commending the Liquor Board for its responsiveness to the strong public reaction to its earlier announcement.

Maile's spokesperson, Wisani Ngoben,i said: The Board is concerned that the decision may send a wrong message out there, that it is encouraging alcohol abuse. The Board subscribes to the ethos of responsible alcohol trading; it also supports initiatives aimed at curbing alcohol abuse.

Earlier, the ANC's women's wing, the ANC Women's League (ANCWL), had warned it would not allow the party's January 8 historic event to be turned into a drinking spree after the Gauteng Liquor Board extended trading hours for selling beer for the weekend celebration.

In a statement issued late on Tuesday the ANCWL said as an integral part of the ANC it will not allow this historic event to be viewed as drinking spree, which requires liquor trading hours to be relaxed by liquor boards.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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