Liquor outlet has community in a tizz

Community members say the liquor outlet does not contribute to the development of the community.

A Parkwood family who runs a liquor trading outlet in the area has defended their business after allegations that they are running an illegal shebeen.

NPO the Voice of Parkwood has written an official complaint to the Western Cape Liquor Board about the operations of Boy’s Place liquor outlet in Blackbird Avenue.

Voice of Parkwood founder Paul Phillips said the reason for the complaint was the lack of public participation about the operating hours and issuing of the licence and they were opposing the outlet’s application to trade on a Sunday.

“The original owner is deceased, but operations are continuing as usual. The location of the tavern is even more concerning as it’s opposite a community park. The park cannot be optimally utilised as the main entrance is opposite the seller and exposes children, seniors and community members to loitering, unwanted elements sitting in the park, relieving themselves in the park, drinking and illegal activities all associated with alcohol intake and abuse,” said Mr Phillips.

He said the outlet is also situated less than 300 metres from Parkwood Primary School’s main entrance, a church, mosque and feeding facility for school children after school.

“There is already a liquor trader, with Sunday licence 300 metres down the road. The situation has become unbearable for community members in the surrounding area.

“The outlet does not contribute to the development of the community, but rather contributes towards alcohol abuse and the dysfunction of social cohesion,” said Mr Phillips.

Owner of the shebeen Shiela Williams, however, says their business is legal.

“We have been living here for 60 years and my husband and I have been trading for 41 years. Three years ago he died and my children and I continued the business. We have all the documents to prove we have every right to
trade.

“We run a legal, respectable business, this is how I support my family and I think those who want to close us down are launching a personal attack,” said Ms Williams.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Constable Lubabalo Balintulo confirmed that Boy’s Place has a liquor licence.

“There has been raids on shebeens in the same road but not at Boy’s Place. Compliance inspections have been done by the designated liquor officer with law enforcement as well as the liquor authority inspector,” said Constable Balintulo.

He added that Grassy Park police had to date no issues or conclusive proof of non-compliance at the outlet.

Luzuko Mdunyelwa, CEO of the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA), said an investigation was launched into the allegations.

“Interviews were held with residents in and around the liquor outlet to determine whether there were indeed transgressions on
the part of the licence holder. There was a report and judging by this report there can be no
reason for the WCLA to institute any legal proceedings against the licence holder. In this regard the WCLA cannot act against the licence holder,” said Mr Mdunyelwa.

The application to trade on a Sunday has, however, not been approved.