The Gauteng Liquor Board (GLB) has withdrawn its decision to extend liquor trading hours on Sunday against the ruling party’s 105th birthday celebrations in Soweto.
The liquor board confirmed this on Wednesday after the ANC Women’s League criticized it saying the party’s anniversary is meant to allow the party to reflect on the successes and challenges it has faced in the previous years and chart a way forward for the new year, not as a “drinking spree”.
The Gauteng Liquor Board initially indicated that it would extend trading times to accommodate an influx of visitors expected in the province this weekend.
The board took this decision following people’s overwhelming request for them to do so. But, having considered feedback on its move, and consultation with Gauteng Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile, the board backtracked on its decision.
Following mixed public reaction, the board decided that it will no longer be considering such application for this coming weekend,” the MEC’s spokesperson Wisani Ngobeni said.
Meanwhile, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on twitter that the ANC did not apply for special liquor license and that the decision by Gauteng Liquor board to extend trading hours had nothing to do with ANC.
The ANC secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe also condemned the GLB’s earlier decision to relax the liquor trade for the party’s birthday bash.
“It’s a wrong decision by the liquor board to take a decision in the name of the ANC without talking to the ANC. We’re not about drinking, it’s about celebrating 105 years of struggle, of a movement of the people. It can’t be characterised by drunkenness,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Liquor Board chairperson Fhedzisani Pandelani said that the board will no longer relax the liquor hour because those seeking the extension are only after their self-enrichment.