No extension to liquor trading hours for ANC conference

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG – Liquor places will not have their trading hours extended for the duration of the ANC elective conference to be held at Nasrec from December 16-20.

MEC of Economic Development Environment Agriculture and Rural Development Lebogang Maile said they had noted widespread media reports that many liquor outlets were preparing to cash-in during the forthcoming 54th conference. He said the Gauteng government through its agency, the Gauteng Liquor Board (GLB) would not grant permission to any liquor outlets or alcohol-selling venues intending to extend their trading hours to cater for the ANC Conference this weekend.

“As far as we are concerned scores of delegates, including dignitaries, international guests and foreign media will flock to Gauteng this week ahead of the ANC’s 54th National Conference. The Conference will bring some economic spin-offs, especially for the hospitality sector. Liquor trading hours will not be extended, even though by law we have the discretion to do so,” said Maile.

He added that those intending to operate illegally would be dealt with adequately and they would face the full might of the law.

“Any outlet that will sell liquor illegally during the duration of the conference will face the wrath of the law. Our Inspectors will be on the look-out working closely with law enforcement agencies, especially the police. We will be conducting impromptu raids to monitor all outlets,” he said.

Maine said one of the key benefits of Gauteng hosting the conference was that it would showcase the province’s potential for hosting events of this magnitude to a global audience. He said the Gauteng provincial government was excited that its capacity as a world-class bidding and hosting city region would be on display throughout the conference.

The conference is expected to inject a substantial cash flow into the local economy with many businesses in the area expected to share a slice of the pie.

Maile appealed delegates to take advantage of their stay in the province, to visit the province’s many heritage sites as well as township tourism hot spots that give off a local flavour.

“The province has been dubbed a “Mecca of SA’s Liberation Struggle”, as a result of iconic heritage places such as Hector Peterson Memorial site in Soweto; Mandela Museum in Soweto; OR Tambo Precinct in Ekurhuleni and Chris Hani Memorial Walk of Remembrance site, also in Ekurhuleni. Furthermore, the province is a home to popular, world-class township eatery’s such as Sakhumzi’s on Vilakazi Street in Soweto which will give our visitors an important ‘local is lekker’ Gauteng experience,” said Maile.