Liquor traders suffer as Gauteng Liquor Board struggles to issue licences

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been approached by affected parties about serious operational problems at the Gauteng Liquor Board (GLB). Liquor traders often incur additional costs by appointing specialist legal counsel to help them navigate the complex and often hostile process of obtaining a liquor license.

In spite of this, liquor traders face long delays in getting their applications approved. Amongst the long list of concerns submitted, it appears that a total lack of leadership and work ethic has taken hold at the GLB.

Phones are never answered, offices are mostly empty, and there is simply no way an applicant can visit the liquor board to track their application because offices are not accessible to the public. The impact of such an unresponsive approach is that liquor traders are forced through no fault of their own into trading illegally.

In order to get to the bottom of the GLBs problems, I have tabled a list of detailed questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL). Written questions are a legally binding instrument to force the responsible MEC to table answers to my questions in the Legislature within 10 working days. I will also do an unannounced oversight visit to see for myself what liquor traders are faced with.

The DA will continue to apply pressure on the GLB through the Economic Development Portfolio Committee in the GPL to ensure that all applications are processed as soon as possible.

It is unacceptable that businesses in the province that have applied for a liquor licence have to wait for more than four months to have their applications approved. This only leads to business owners being non-compliant.

If you are a liquor trader who has a pending licence application and struggling to get feedback from the GLB please send us your details here. We will track your application and give feedback.