PRETORIA, South Africa – The police are finding that alcohol is the main crime generator in terms of murders, assaults, and gender-based violence that terrorise South African communities.
Tshwane district police commission major-general Hilda Mohajane made the remarks before leading the disposing of more than 1000 litres of various liquor brands at Daspoort Waste Water Treatment Works in Marabastad.
The operation that breaks many alcohol lovers’ hearts was endorsed by President of the Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association Oupa Mthombeni and Chief executive of the Gauteng Liquor Board, Raymond Martin who joined her on site.
They said people who abuse alcohol and owners of establishment that contravene their liquor trading licence were a problem in South African, deserving to be fined, arrested and have their liquor confiscated.
Mohajane said Tshwane police worked with other law enforcement agencies, government departments, the liquor board, brands and community patrol forums to confiscate the liquor as they sought to ensure a safe and secure South Africa, that’s conducive for social and economic stability, and supporting a better life for all.
She said the operations were intended to create awareness on substance and liquor abuse and to conduct liquor enforcement operations in line with the national and provincial liquor legislation and to monitor non-adherence to licence conditions and trading hours.
“Some of the liquor outlets that were found to be illegal and non-complaint, as per their licensing conditions, saw liquor being confiscated and fines being issued. We are increasing our efforts to eradicate illegal outlets that destroy our communities with alcohol.
“The South African Police Services is working closely with the police and liquor board within Gauteng and Tshwane, to address the challenges of alcohol abuse and illegal liquor trading.
“A zero tolerance approach will be followed against the abuse of alcohol, especially drinking in public, substance abuse, drinking and driving, and crimes related to alcohol,” said Mohajane.
Martin said the liquor board was also finding that there were a lot of foreign nationals taking over operations of establishments that deal in alcohol in the CBD and surrounding areas.
He said they cheated the licensing system by purchasing the establishments from South African owners and then hiring them as the managers, as the law allows, so that they could trade with the licenses of the previous owner.
Mthombeni said owners of taverns, pubs, restaurants and night clubs needed to know they have a big role to play to assist the government in curbing alcohol problems, especially because they dealt in liquor to provide for their families.