Extending liquor trading hours was never our idea - ANC

2017-01-04 16:00
Fikile Mbalula (File, Foto24)

Fikile Mbalula (File, Foto24)

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Johannesburg - The ANC has distanced itself from attempts by the Gauteng Liquor Board to extend alcohol trading hours to accommodate the thousands of supporters expected to flock to the province to celebrate the party’s 105th birthday celebrations in Soweto this weekend.

The party's head of mobilisation, Fikile Mbalula, said the party had no powers to regulate opening and closing times of liquor outlets.

"The ANC would like to state it clear and categorically, we don’t decide on opening times of alcohol and beer halls and their closure, we have no call with regards to that," Mbalula said.

In what appears to be a backtrack, the Gauteng Liquor Board announced that no permission had been granted to extend hours for alcohol-selling venues, after all applications had failed.

READ: Booze rules relaxed in Gauteng for ANC anniversary

Outcry

This followed an outcry from the ANC Women’s league, and a public backlash on Twitter.

The move was previously supported by Gauteng Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile.

The ANC has cautioned the government and its deployees in government to act cautiously on the matter, in "concert with values of our movement".

"We have advised our colleagues in government to act cautiously, particularly those deployed, to veer away from anything that seeks to bring name of ANC in disrepute."

"The ANC is a movement that cares. There should be no moment of recklessness. Now is the moment of unity in action and ensuring we live to the expectations of our people," Mbalula said.

Caution

Mbalula was addressing the media at the ANC headquarters - Luthuli House - ahead of its January 8 celebrations on Sunday at Orlando Stadium.

He warned supporters against heavy drinking and advised them to adhere to government messages of healthy living.

"We caution people against heavy drinking... as we embark on this event," Mbalula said.

As many as 800 buses were expected to ferry party members and supporters to Orlando Stadium on Sunday. Mbalula warned that no other person had a mandate to organise a party to mark the ANC’s celebrations.

The party has a number of events planned inthe build-up to Sunday, including celebrations at the famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Friday, and a gala dinner to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma on Saturday night at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

Read more on:    anc  |  politics

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