Councillors debate liquor applications

Things got heated at last week’s Sub-council 2 meeting when it came time to discuss a batch of liquor-licence applications.

Five liquor stores had applied to extend trading hours, but only three – Jubra Liquors, Pick and Pay Liquors and Picardi Rebel – were supported by councillors.

ANC Ward 101 councillor Luyanda Mbele objected to the application from Linge Liquors in Walter Sisulu Street, Wallacedene, to extend trading hours, saying the tavern was near to churches and schools.

“This particular tavern is less than 50m away from Wallacedene Secondary School, and on the corner there’s a church and a creche on the opposite side.

“It is not in the public interest. If he is allowed to extend his trading hours, he would make up to R80 000 in profits.”

However, Ward 6 ANC councillor Simpiwe Nonkeyzana said: “My issue is not really about the non-approval of the business but the church was built after the business had opened in the area. This does not mean liquor will be sold in the church. Those in church will stay in church and others have a choice to visit liquor stores.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Riddles, representing the Scottsville Neighbourhood Watch, objected to an application by Delcicki Liquor Boutique in Scottsville to extend trading hours and to trade on Sunday.

Mr Riddles accused the owner of selling liquor to minors and said jobs at the store were given to foreigners over locals.

He said: “ This liquor outlet is in a residential area and is seen as a nuisance to the community. The reasons are clear: there is no job opportunity for the residents and only foreigners are working in the shop. There is a church close by and children under 18 are being served there.”

But Delcicki Liquor Boutique owner Johan Nigrini said the store had been in the area for more than five years and had never drawn complaints from residents. There were cameras both inside and outside the store and staff followed strict instructions to not serve alcohol to under-age customers.

Mr Nigrini stunned the meeting when he claimed Mr Riddles had approached him for a “donation”. Mr Riddles jumped out of his seat in defence and was quieted by sub-council chairman Grant Twigg.

Ward 111 councillor Brenda Hansen said she supported Delcicki’s application as she had not received complaints from residents or the liquor board.