Obtain written consent for shebeens

26 Sep 2016 15:50pm
MARIENTAL, 26 SEP (NAMPA) – Members of the public should be asked for written consent when people apply for a shebeen licence in a residential area or in the vicinity of a school or church.
Economic Development and Community Affairs Manager at Mariental Municipality Catherine Boois told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Economy that this could help curtail the mushrooming of shebeens.
Speaking at a public hearing on the Liquor Amendment Bill in Aimablaagte Community Hall in Mariental last Tuesday, Boois said a homogeneous decision should be taken in determining the distance a shebeen may operate from residential areas.
Approximately 35 people, among them shebeen owners and a pastor, attended the public hearing.
Also voicing his concerns, business owner Vilho Vilho said it will be difficult for owners to obtain written consent from residents and the application process may get personal.
“People are jealous of each other and it will be difficult to obtain a written consent from them to apply for a liquor licence. They don’t want you to progress. It will be difficult to make a living as it is our only livelihood,” he said.
Looking past the possibility of jealousy and identifying shebeens in residential areas as a contributing factor to some of Namibia’s social ills, Pastor Gert Beukes from the Ebenhaezer Lutheran Church in Mariental said allowing shebeens in residential areas contributes to excessive noise and private property damages.
“Shebeens in residential areas are a big problem. We have children going to school and it makes studying almost impossible; and private properties are damaged.
“You have to ask for permission to go into your own yards; and patrons will just stand anywhere to relieve themselves when nature calls and this alone is a health hazard,” he said.
Beukes said shebeens should be rezoned to business areas or stringent measures should be taken to control the operating hours of shebeens, as some operate the whole day.
Vice-Chairperson of Stampriet Village Council Johanna Meyer reiterated Beukes’s statement and said shebeens should be moved out of residential areas, and local authorities and regional councils should see to it that this happens.
“Children are in constant threat and you don’t know when they will be hurt or run over by a car driven by a drunk driver. We should, together with local authorities and regional councils, make sure to rezone the shebeens from residential areas to proposed business areas,” she said.
On 01 August, the National Council (NC) referred the Liquor Amendment Bill to the standing committee to consult with stakeholders across the country.
Parliamentarians Peter Kazongominja, Gerhard Shiimi and Joseph Mupetami held the sessions in the Hardap Region.
The findings and recommendations are to be presented to the NC on 20 October this year.