MEC scraps 24 hour booze fest plan for ANC 108 celebrations
Kimberley - A controversial plan to extend operating hours for liquor establishments in Kimberley for the ANC's January 8 celebrations has been scrapped.
The plan had been made by the Northern Cape's finance, economic development and tourism MEC, Maruping Lekwene. He has since withdrawn the notice which would have allowed establishments to sell booze freely between 00:00 and 24:00 during the ANC's 108 celebrations.
The plan to extend operating hours for liquor establishments had been announced last month ahead of the celebrations in Kimberley which will culminate in President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the governing party’s annual January 8 statement on Saturday.
The proposal sparked an outcry, with the ANC Women's League criticising the move vehemently at the time.
The ANC’s Northern Cape leaders were forced to demand that the decision be revoked as it was concerned that it portrayed the party’s anniversary in a negative light.
On Wednesday, ironically on the day the ANC was established in 1912, Lekwene announced that after consultation with various organs of state and after being convinced that it was in the public interest, he confirmed he was revoking the notice dated December 24.
The initial notice issued by Lekwene stated that with the powers vested in him by the Liquor Act of 2008, he had declared that for the duration of the anniversary celebrations licensed liquor stores may sell liquor in their licenced premises between 00:00 and 24:00.