Chorus against dop shop

2016-03-15 06:00
Residents of Lotus River gathered on Monday last week to voice their disapproval of an intended liquor license application for a business opposite Perivale Primary School.

Residents of Lotus River gathered on Monday last week to voice their disapproval of an intended liquor license application for a business opposite Perivale Primary School. (Chevon Booysen)

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“We do not want it here.”

So say residents who attended a public meeting on a liquor licence application at Perivale Primary School last Monday.

The venue was packed with residents and other interested parties when applicant Sholom Davidson and his lawyers addressed the attendees.

People’s Post previously reported on the application for a liquor store at premises on the corner of Zeekoe Road and 1st Avenue in Lotus River (“Noses up to liquor store”, 19 January).

Tempers flared last Monday night when residents said they did not want the liquor outlet in the neighbourhood, saying that crime in the area would be “exacerbated”.

Philip Bam, spokesperson of the Grassy Park community police forum, implored Davidson to consider the ramifications of his application.

“We have heard that the applicant has the interests of the community at heart. But are you aware of the drug dealings that occur on the stoep of the store that is there at the moment? If you claim you have the community’s interests at heart and that you come from this community, then surely you will understand the frustration,” Bam said.

Davidson owns the shop where the liquor store would be.

Bam asked Davidson to reconsider the application.

“Do not disrespect this community by ignoring their wishes. You have heard them tonight saying they do not want the establishment in the area. The law demands that you respect the wishes of the community,” Bam said.

Perivale Primary principal Denzil van Graan said he felt insulted that Davidson had promised in the People’s Post article that he would sponsor two of the school’s pupils.

“Davidson hasn’t once come over to visit the school. My main concern with regard to this application is the effect it will have on pupils in this school. It won’t be a positive contribution to the community,” Van Graan said.

Drug dealing concernsVan Graan also referred to concern about drug trades in front of the shop.

“I have sat in one of my classrooms and just observed what was happening on the stoep at the shop and it’s concerning. And adding a liquor outlet at the premises will not bring anything positive to the community,” he said.

Residents who were given the opportunity to speak reiterated throughout the meeting that they did not want the liquor outlet in the area. They suggested that a more positive establishment be put up.

“We will support wholeheartedly if the applicant would rather use the space more positively. We could use an internet cafe or even a place for our elderly to gather. Anything positive and we will give our blessing,” a resident said.

Davidson’s lawyer, Wayne Hufkie, said the residents’ concerns and opinions were being noted at the meeting. The liquor licence application had not yet appeared before the local subcouncil, but “the public meeting was to come get the opinions and feelings of residents”, he said.

“I will now go back with my client and we will meet to discuss tonight’s meeting. This does not yet mean that we will proceed with or drop the application. This will be discussed with my client,” Hufkie said.

Ward councillor Leslie Isaacs, who also attended the meeting, said they would await the application at subcouncil level.

“There a decision will be made. I will give feedback to the community once this has been done,” Isaacs said.

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