Liquor store worry

Rodney Leak, Plumstead

Plumstead residents continue to be concerned about the impending opening of the Spar Tops Liquor shop at Prospur, Churchill Road. An objection was lodged with the sub-council but likely pushed through by local SAPS who should be looking after the community.

How this could have been approved by the City and the Western Cape Liquor Board is beyond us, never mind the audacity of Spar even applying for a liquor store licence. (Spar at Prospur do trade with a grocer wine licence, albeit carrying illegally, fortified wine). There is a big difference between grocer and full liquor licence.

The National Liquor Policy clearly states the following:

1.6.8 In order to standardise licensing requirements, liquor premises should be located at least five hundred meters (500m) away from schools, places for worship; recreation facilities, rehabilitation or treatment centres, residential areas and public institutions.

Further, no liquor licences shall be issued to petrol service stations; premises attached to petrol service stations; premises near public transport; and areas not classified for entertainment or zoned by municipalities for purposes of trading in liquor.

There are both schools, churches, service station and public parks well within the 500m radius.

Spar’s website says: At Spar we are committed to constantly considering the impact of the decisions we make to ensure that all of our actions are in the best interests of the future of our business. We, therefore, take into account the environment, our stakeholders and the economic factors that are important for our sustainability.

Would be interested how Spar will react to consumer resistance if this Tops store opens.

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Shakeel Allie, Western Cape retail operations manager for the Spar Group, responds:

We uphold the values of responsible liquor trading and ensure that these values are instilled in each of our Tops outlets and that the retail owners adhere to all non-negotiable rules and compliances.

I do understand the concerns raised. Please be assured that Vaughan Gibbs understands the sensitivity of the concerns raised and he guarantees that he will uphold the values of responsible liquor retailing as he has been in the community for more than six years.

We, at Spar, make it a priority to ensure that our customers and communities are built through the trust of our values which we stand for and practise daily. Vaughan will, at all times, make it a priority to ensure that the best interests of his customers are taken into account and he would not jeopardise his relationships built over the past six years.

All the necessary requirements and protocols have been addressed thoroughly as per the Liquor Authority and in accordance of the Liquor Act to ensure the provisional licence was granted.

Vaughan and Timothy Gibbs will be the owners of the Tops outlet and they have both attended the Liquor Licence Holders’ Training and were certified under the Western Cape Liquor Authority.

An ad was placed in the newspaper for comment and objections and this was addressed accordingly.

The school governing body was part of many meetings to address concerns and the Tops values were presented to them to ease the uncertainties.

Vaughan has also discussed regularly with his customers about the opening of the Tops outlet which many started to welcome as they became more aware of the Tops retailing practice.

I welcome you to please discuss with us if you have any further concerns as we value input from our communities and customers, and rest assured that we will make it a priority to uphold responsible liquor retailing in the Plumstead area.