SECUNDA – The Mpumalanga Economic Regulator (MER) had a successful workshop with the SAPS’ designated liquor officers at the Gert Sibande District Municipality on Tuesday, 4 September.
The aim was among others, to introduce the process of abolishing old liquor licences which are often fraudulent.
Mr Andre Otto, the MER executive manager, said the new licence has a validation code and will help the MER inspectors to see the conditions of the licence.
He said the new licence will tell you if it is invalid, cancelled and when it is due for renewal.
“To verify the licence certificate, SMS verify (including the space) verification code printed on the licence certificate to 30503. This service is free of charge.”
People may also use this facility to check the validity of a liquor or gambling outlet.
“We have already issued about 87 per cent new licences and are left with only 13 per cent of the old licences that need to be renewed.”
Mr Otto further added that the MER will only tolerate the old licence until the end of September this year. After this deadline, no liquor trader will be allowed to operate with the old licence.
Ms Nonhlanhla Gama, Gert Sibande licensing manager, said that some challenges that prevent liquor traders from getting new licences are that they are not adhering to the licence renewal process.
“Some licensees do not use the correct reference number and as a result our finance department is unable to allocate the money to the right person.
“Some pay and sit with the proof of payment without filling in the forms and submitting the relevant documents.”
She urged the police to spread the information to the liquor traders that they are designated to.
Ms Maureen Pretorius, the national section commander of the liquor regulatory services, applauded the mutual effort that the MER and SAPS are putting together.
“We hope these workshops produce great results, because currently our statistics indicate that the majority of the challenges that we have in our communities are as a result of alcohol.
“We want to create a safe place where women won’t be scared to jog at 3am without being assaulted, raped or murdered.”