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Tavern owners sign pledge

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“The owners are responsible for the safety of their patrons and that should be a priority for them.”

THE DESIGNATED Firearms Officer at the Roodepan police station, Warrant Officer Viola Nkomombini, in conjunction with the local Community Policing Forum (CPF) and local liquor outlet owners in Roodepan and Homevale, yesterday launched the #WeWillComply campaign at the Sonny Leon Library.

Nkomombini explained at the event that the aim of the programme was to urge owners of liquor outlets to adhere to the regulations stipulated in the Northern Cape Provincial Liquor Act 2 of 2008.

In attendance at the event were the Roodepan station commander, Colonel Regina Mienies, the CPF chairperson, Kevin Andrews, the provincial commander of FLASH, Colonel Kagisho Diamond, Colonel Mashay Gamieldien from Provincial Corporate Communication, the newly appointed CEO of the Northern Cape Liquor Board, Tshepo Mengo, tavern owners and inspectors from the liquor board.

During her address, Nkomombini informed the attendees that she would be intensifying compliance visits to their premises to ensure that they complied with the conditions set out in their liquor licences.

She also indicated that the SAPS was unable to police their premises without their support and assistance. “The owners are responsible for the safety of their patrons and that should be a priority for them.”

During his address, Andrews indicated that the CPF needed tavern owners to join the structure and become involved in policing their premises.

He stated that they tended to complain about policing matters, but when block meetings were convened they failed to attend.

Mienies raised her concern that not all tavern owners deemed it important to attend yesterday’s session but stated that they would be visited and asked to sign the pledge.

She also sent a strong message that if tavern owners did not comply, she would vigorously enforce the law.

She pointed out that legal owners had to comply and illegal shebeens would be closed down.

She also pleaded with owners to improve security at their premises and in so doing minimise crime in and around their premises.

She assured them that the Roodepan SAPS is ready to serve and will be intensifying policing in the area this festive season.

Mengo stated that those owners not in attendance will be visited by inspectors from the liquor board, who would ensure that they complied with the conditions of their licences.

He warned that awareness campaigns by his office would be intensified and he urged owners to partner with the board.

He also reminded the tavern owners to renew their licences before December 31, 2019. “Failure to do so will result in heavy fines if renewed after January 2020. If licences are not renewed by March 31, 2020, they will be revoked.”

He also promised Mienies that she would see him regularly in Roodepan to engage with the business owners.

The event was concluded when the tavern owners signed a pledge that will be displayed at their respective premises, binding them to the conditions.