ANC head of mobilisation Fikile Mbalula has cautioned against “exaggerated” reports linking the ANC to an anticipated drinking spree during its 105th birthday celebrations this weekend in Orlando stadium in Soweto.
The Gauteng Liquor Board today reversed its decision to extend trading hours for alcohol on Sunday to accommodate the influx of visitors for the ANC’s anniversary.
It said it did not want to create a perception that it was promoting alcohol abuse. Although “there were sufficient reasons to relax the trading hours”, the board was concerned about sending the wrong message.
Mbalula said at a media briefing on Wednesday in Luthuli House that “the ANC does not decide on opening times of [liquor outlets] and their closure at any given point”.
“There is no call on our part to review the times with regard to liquor availability,” he said.
“We caution our people in terms of excessive drinking as we host this event in Gauteng [and] we have advised our colleagues in government to act cautiously and guard against bringing the ANC into disrepute,” said Mbalula.
The liquor board confirmed that the application to extend the trading hours was made by liquor traders, not the ANC.
Mbalula said ANC members were “equally expected to act in concert with the values of the ANC as they celebrate the birthday”.
“Nobody is mandated to organise any party anywhere in the name of the ANC,” he said.