Closure of beer hall a wise decision

2017-02-08 06:01

THE OLD Ematsheni Beer Hall should be taken, treated and classified as a heritage building.

The national, provincial and local government should understand and work together to fulfil that mission, although the history behind this complex may reflect on bad yester-years or the apartheid government because the system was to divide South African racial groups when socialising.

The plan and the message was clear from the onset - the Ematsheni Beer Hall was built for the black hostel dwellers where they were daily regulars in quenching their thirst.

Originally sorghum beer - mqombothi and juba - was introduced to attract blacks and distributed mainly in the area where black people lived.

As a proud Maritzburger and Msunduzi resident, for the municipality to shut it down was a wise decision, although the timing will always challenged.

All Pietermaritzburg-Msunduzi residents, especially business owners downtown, taxi owners, drivers, the municipality and SAPS knew very well that the historical Ematsheni Beer Hall has become a hub of criminals, a base for drug lords and runners, shelter for vagrants and even for the ordinary street children.

The problem had been left by the municipality, SAPS and various government structures on the back shelf for a long time and eventually became big and uncontrollable.

The beer hall has become a social, political and financial problem for the City of Choice.

The municipality must be congratulated for stopping the crime around the complex and for shutting down Ematsheni Beer Hall, however, we must ask what the municipality’s next step or plan B is for the area.

Some of us feel that maybe the new plan, project and developments will be good for our city and hopefully will improve business opportunities for residents and investors to Pietermaritzburg.

On another note, some of us think that nothing is being done by the municipality­, local and provincial government and its security agencies to stop the crime and rid the area around Retief Street and nearby areas of vagrants.

Why are patrol vans not highly visible­ around that area and why are SAPS satellite stations and the SANDF not urgently deployed around the area to sort the crime problem out?

jerry barnes Via email

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