Taverners put lid on YCL demand

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

The Young Communist League (YCL) in Nelson Mandela Bay has accused tavern owners of selling liquor to teachers and pupils during school hours.

YCL district organiser Nkosinathi Sikeka said shebeen and tavern owners whose businesses were close to schools were the worst culprits.

He demanded that taverns situated about 100 metres from schools should close until 2pm when teaching finishes.

Sikeka warned that these liquor outlets were a source of school violence, poor pass rates, drugs and alcohol abuse.

However, the taverners have vowed not to abide by the YCL's call to stop selling to teachers and pupils.

They claimed they had financial commitments to fulfil.

Vuyani Jela, owner of London Tavern at KwaDwesi, which is close to Mqhayi High School, said he did not allow pupils and under-age children into his business.

He dismissed the idea of closing his business until 2pm.

Jela said there were small shebeen owners who bought beer cases from his tavern and he would lose this business if he closed until 2pm.

The owner of Gqalana Tavern, Oom Coulas Gqalana, which is close to Garrett Primary School in Zwide, welcomed teachers but not pupils during school hours.

"The league is pushing us too far," Gqalana said.

Kwa-Magxaki High School principal Mwezi Qomfo said even though there was no shebeen or tavern near his school, there was still the problem of drinking.