Adult World in licence probe

2014-05-29 15:10

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Cape Town - The Cape Town city council is investigating the imminent opening of an Adult World shop in Plein Street because the company allegedly failed to apply for special licences required by the sex industry.

The city said any shop showing or selling X-rated films needed a licence from the Film and Publication Board (FPB), and a local council business licence for operating adult premises.

"City health has no record of a premises issued with a trading licence in terms of above at 99 Plein Street, Cape Town," mayoral committee member for health Benedicta van Minnen said.

The FPB confirmed that it had not received an application from Adult World for an operating licence, and added that it noted the unhappiness of the ANC chief whip's office about the shop's location.

Adult World, however, said licences it received from the city and the FPB a decade ago to operate a shop at the same premises were still valid.

"In 2004, the original store was issued with all the necessary licences from the city to trade, they are still valid and are being used for the new venture," said the group's spokesperson Sean Newman.

He added that Adult World would welcome an inspection by the city.

Sustained opposition

On Tuesday, ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said it was inappropriate to have a sex shop across the street from Parliament and risked discouraging sensitive citizens from visiting the legislature.

He vowed to take legal advice on the matter and called on the city council, run by the Democratic Alliance, to explain why it was granted a licence.

The new Adult World branch is located between two Muslim-owned fast-food restaurants, Shah's and The Entertainer. It has yet to open, but a sign on the door indicates it will be trade until late seven days a week.

The group tried to open a branch in the same place in 2004, but met with sustained opposition, spearheaded by ANC MP Patrick Chauke.

Newman denied that political pressure prevented Adult World from opening in Plein Street a decade ago and said it changed its mind because there were already other similar ventures in the area.

Some of these had now closed and therefore it made sense for Adult World to revive its original plans, he added.

Responding to the ANC, Adult World owner Arthur Calamaras said: "One has to take a step back and question what has been achieved in the 20 years since democracy if pressure can be exerted on a legal business by members of the ruling party".

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