The Bo-Kaap Civic Association are currently keeping tabs on three new liquor applications from businesses outlets in the area, should the need arise for the applications to be contested. The association has been facing an ongoing battle with businesses and liquor outlets, following the awarding of a licence to a restaurant opposite the Palm Tree mosque in Long Street. The issue has caused uproar amongst the predominant Muslim residents, who are opposed to the sale of liquor in the area.
The association’s chairperson Osman Shaboodien said in addition to the three pending applications, they were also keeping an eye on one application seeking to extend the hours in which they could sell liquor. With the City of Cape Town now imposing a new by-law requiring outlets to apply for extended hours, he said they were hoping with anticipation that the applications would not be granted.
He noted this was not the first time the respective businesses had made such applications. Their previous attempts had been rejected due to technicalities and they were now seeking to reapply. He said the association had a good team, prepared to contest any application that was granted.
Highlighting the case of the Palm Tree mosque, Shaboodien said it was important to note the restaurant involved had been imposed certain conditions and restrictions regarding the sale of alcohol. Much of this would kick in during the upcoming month of Ramadan, with the association planning to keep a keen eye on whether those conditions were being adhered to.
Amongst the three new applications is one from a business in Rose Street that sells liquor online. The business has applied to have its property rezoned, for commercial purposes on the premises itself. However, Shaboodien insisted nothing had yet come from that application.
“We are thankful that at the moment we have no real licences in the heart of Bo-Kaap itself, but the challenge that we have now is, if one is granted, it sets the precedent for other applications to be granted as well,” he said.
He also praised Premier Helen Zille for issuing a statement in her State of the Province address, highlighting the scourge of alcohol abuse. However, he said it was important for the premier to “put her money where her mouth is” and take serious action against the granting of liquor licences.
Residents of Bo-kaap are intending to picket outside the premises of the respective applicants, with Shaboodien adding that residents were making a statement that they were not going to allow any more liquor outlets in Bo-Kaap. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)