Mthatha Express

Community urged to be part of the decision making

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OFFICIALS from the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) would like encourage communities to use their constitutional right to be part of the decision-making in the issuing of a liquor licence through a community consultation process.

According to the spokesperson for Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB), they observed with serious concern that communities are not adequately aware of the role they are supposed to play in the issuing of a liquor licence.

He said the Eastern Cape Liquor Acts encourages members of the community to participate in the public consultation process wherever a liquor licence is lodged within their jurisdiction.

“It is a legislative requirement that the councillor of the ward in which the applicant intends opening a liquor outlet must convene a community consultation meeting to afford members of the community an opportunity to discuss openly whether or not they agree to the liquor outlet in their area.

The councillor must therefore ensure that minutes of the meeting are captured, an attendance register is signed, and a report is produced that would subsequently be submitted to the ECLB for consideration,” said Msiya.

He said it is important to stress that – based on their own circumstances – members of the community have a right to object to a liquor licence being lodged in the area.

Msiya added that anyone opposed to the application must lodge an objection to the ECLB within 21 days from the date of its publication.

“The applicant must be present at this meeting, to present his/her case and provide answers or any clarification that the community members may seek.

“Public participation of the community members would ensure that every liquor outlet within their areas is known, and this would enable them to easily identify an illegal outlet in their area.”

– ISSUED BY ECLB

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