By Janet Semple MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development:
The Gauteng Liquor Board is not processing liquor license applications timeously and is in effect stifling business.
In a written reply to DA questions, Gauteng economic development MEC Lebogang Maile, states that the department has no outstanding applications older than 90 days.
This is in fact untrue, as I have been approached to assist four business people with applications that have been outstanding for over three years.
In this time, the ability to have generated income and have created employment has been lost.
Another issue of concern is that the MEC insists the board has complied with all High Court orders instructing it to issue liquor licenses. There are at least two outstanding orders the board has board has failed to act upon.
MEC Maile must not be disingenuous about the board’s shortcomings. This kind of attitude will only exacerbate the problem.
It is important that applicants who meet the criteria of the Gauteng Liquor Act receive their licences without delay.
Job creation and economic empowerment are the central tenants of this department, however, vagueness and obfuscation will hamper its progress.
I will question MEC Maile about these issues in order to improve the work of this department so that business in Gauteng can get back to business.