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Liquor board cracks down on Buffalo City drinking spots

Noncompliant taverns issued with warnings to rectify issues

The areas visited included Duncan Village, Nahoon, Vincent and Amalinda Forest.
The areas  visited included  Duncan Village,  Nahoon, Vincent and Amalinda Forest.
Image: 123rf/Jakub Godja

Several drinking outlets in Buffalo City were raided over the weekend, some of which were issued  with notices for failing to adhere  to regulations.

However, Scenery Park outlets in East London were found closed when authorities visited at 1am on Saturday. Scenery Park is the site of Enyobeni tavern tragedy.    

The raids were carried out by police, private security companies, the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) and the city with the aim of clamping down on liquor traders that flout their trading conditions, including selling to underage patrons.

The areas  visited included  Duncan Village,  Nahoon, Vincent and Amalinda Forest.

There have been reports of an outlet in Duncan Village allegedly selling liquor to underage patrons.  However, the outlet was found closed when visited on Friday night.

“The tavern [in Duncan Village] had already closed by the time the team arrived, the ECLB shall [however] continue to closely monitor this liquor outlet in order to deal with it should it be found that indeed it sells alcohol to underage persons,” board CEO Dr Nombuyiselo Makala said.

“We also urge members of the community to report to the ECLB whenever they see young people being permitted [entry] and served with alcohol in this or any other liquor outlet.”

Two outlets in Amalinda Forest and Vincent were found to be non-compliant, the liquor board said.

A tavern in Amalinda Forest was issued with a notice for failing to adhere to municipal regulations. It was given 30 days to rectify the noncompliance issues or face licence suspension.

In Vincent, an outlet was issued with a notice for allegedly failing to have a manager, a requirement in terms of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act.

Makala said they were happy with the conduct of Scenery Park outlets during the raid.

“This could be an indication of liquor traders’ commitment to adherence to trading times and we hope that this behaviour could have been triggered by the recent Enyobeni incident,” she said.

Meanwhile the Eastern Cape police announced that two illegal outlets were closed during the raid and 217,204 litres of liquor valued more than R45,000 confiscated.

Police said about 13 people were arrested for crimes ranging from possession of illicit drugs to assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, with 255 vehicles also searched during the operation.

The authorities say they will continue carrying out raids on BCM liquor outlets and in other areas in the province to ensure compliance.

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