Liquor licence moratorium ‘injures economy’

2011-09-01 11:34

A six-month moratorium on the issuing of new liquor licences in Gauteng is hurting the economy, SA Breweries (SAB) said today.

The moratorium limited the revenue the state could generate by taxing legitimate businesses, said SAB’s Egoli division general manager Leonard Volschenk in a statement.

This was particularly concerning given the present economic climate, he said.

The six-month moratorium was put in place from August 8 by MEC for economic development Qedani Mahlangu.

It was issued in response to large numbers of fraudulent permits which purported to be authorised by the Gauteng Liquor Board.

Volschenk said it was SAB policy only to sell to licensed outlets, but there was no system against which the company could check the validity of permits.

“Only the Liquor Board is in a position to confirm whether a licence is valid and they have been unwilling to engage in a verification process,” he said.An appeal against the moratorium was dismissed this week by High Court judge Elias Matojane.

He said that while he appreciated the applicants’ concerns, the lifting of the moratorium would only exacerbate the existing difficulties with the liquor licensing system.

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