Walter Sisulu Local Municipality hosts public hearings on liquor trading hours

Story: Katleho Sesoane | Photo: Katleho Sesoane

In an effort to encourage community involvement and adhere to the Municipal Structures Act, Walter Sisulu Local Municipality (WSLM) has organized public hearings to review the bylaws governing liquor trading hours in the area. Recently, the municipality chose Venterstad’s community to host these important hearings, responding to concerns raised by various stakeholders and residents.

The initiative aims to address concerns voiced by community members, especially liquor traders and residents, who find the current trading hours too inflexible. Acknowledging the significance of community input, the municipality created a platform for dialogue and collaboration.

Despite facing challenges such as extreme temperatures experienced during previous hearings in Maletswai, Venterstad residents showed strong commitment by actively participating. This demonstrates the community's conscious decision to play a role in local governance.

Nalisile Mathetha, the Speaker of the municipality, kicked off the public hearing, highlighting its importance. Following this, Mzwandile Plaatjie, Manager at the Office of the Speaker, provided a detailed presentation on the current bylaws, clarifying key points for attendees.

Despite notable absences from key stakeholders like the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, progress wasn't hindered. Plaatjie's presentation effectively covered relevant issues, facilitating fruitful engagement among community members.

Contributions and proposed amendments

The public hearing served as a platform for constructive contributions, with most speakers expressing dissatisfaction with the existing liquor trading bylaws. Many Venterstad residents proposed extending trading hours, suggesting operating from 09:00 to 00:00 on weekdays and public holidays, and from 09:00 to 02:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

WSLM extends gratitude to residents who attended the hearings, encouraging others from different areas within its jurisdiction to participate in future events. This ensures their voices are heard in the decision-making process.

In promoting transparent and participatory governance, WSLM sets an example, fostering collaboration and empowerment within its communities