Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s decision to not grant any liquor licences will contribute to the unemployment rate in the province because entrepreneurs will not be able to start any new businesses in the sector.
Entrepreneurs, particularly in the liquor sector, play a vital role in creating job opportunities for many unemployed residents. It is important now more than ever that entrepreneurs are supported by the government by issuing liquor licences to trade, considering that there are over 2.5 million unemployed residents and over 600 thousand discouraged job seekers.
By not granting any new liquor licences, the formal economy is being denied a chance to grow, and this will result in a drop in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the province.
Furthermore, it will result in the illicit trade of alcohol and the mushrooming of illegal taverns, which will affect the operations of law-abiding liquor traders. Illegal taverns can also have wider negative impacts on society, such as fueling organised crime and being a detriment to laws and government policy on underage drinking and combating substance abuse. This is another unfortunate case of the Premier falling into his tactic of Lesufism in pretending to be doing something. The Premier’s desperate publicity stunt will have a huge negative impact on Gauteng’s social and economic environment.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands answers from Premier Lesufi and the MEC for Economic Development, Tasneem Motara, on why this decision was taken and whether they considered its impact on local entrepreneurs. We will also table written questions to ascertain whether this department has a challenge issuing new liquor licenses.
The DA will continue to fight against any red tape that hinders the creation of job opportunities in the province.