Association responds to campaign

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The South African Liquor Traders Association (Salta) has criticised the Young Communist League (YCL) for not consulting industry bodies in their campaign to drive out liquor traders near schools.

Salta president Saint Madlala said: "They don't need to go to outlets and bulldoze them into closing. They must engage with industry leaders and come up with remedies."

He warned the league against infringing on the rights of legal liquor traders.

"People have a right to trade that can't be taken away from them," Madlala said.

Madlala was responding to a visit yesterday by the YCL and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to a tavern in Meadowlands, Soweto.

The youth groups confronted Oumakie Modisenyane, manager of Floyd's Place, a tavern near Meadowlands High School.

Buti Manamela, YCL national secretary, said that taverns were "contributing factors" to poor performance and violence at schools.

"As long as there are such places next to schools, pupils will be tempted to go there instead of to the classrooms," he said.

YCL spokesman Castro Ngobese said the YCL had consulted with communities, principals, school governing bodies and liquor traders about the relocation of outlets near schools.

Modisenyane said the tavern adhered to a "strict code of conduct" that prohibited the sale of liquor to underage drinkers.

She said they shared the youth organisations' concerns and were looking to relocate "somewhere far from schools and churches".