Reduced Trading Hours Frustrate Shebeen Owners

SHEBEEN owners at Aussenkehr farm near Noordoewer in Karas region are angry over the new liquor licence regulations that have resulted in trading hours being cut.

In terms of the newly amended liquor licence regulations, a shebeen liquor licence holder may operate from Monday to Thursday from 10h00 to 22h00, Friday and Saturday from 10h00 to 24h00 and Sunday from 14h00 to 22h00.

Before the regulation was amended, shebeen licence holders could sell liquor throughout the week from 10h00 to 24h00.

In a petition they handed over on Wednesday to Karas liquor licence committee chairperson, magistrate Philanda Blockstein-Christiaan, the shebeen owners expressed concern over not being consulted before changes to the trading hours were effected, and wanted to know why trading hours of special liquor licence holders who may sell liquor from 10h00 to 02h00 were not altered.

“We do not understand the way our shebeen licences were changed without our concern,” the petition reads.

The group spokesperson Titus Mutilisha said they are frustrated over the special licence holders’ trading hours that were not changed, suggesting that their trading hours should be also reduced like theirs.

The shebeen owners claimed the amended regulation is apparently only applicable to them as those operating at towns such is Keetmanshoop and Windhoek have been issued with renewed licences stipulating that they can trade throughout the week from 10h00 to 24h00.

Blockstein-Christiaan dismissed the latter claims, saying the new amended liquor licence regulations are being enforced on all shebeen owners by clearly stipulating the trading hours on their renewed liquor licences.

Source : The Namibian