Mmegi Online :: Forlorn hope of a bar owner
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Last Updated
Friday 20 July 2018, 14:06 pm.
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Forlorn hope of a bar owner

Bar owners and liquor traders across the country have appealed to government to review the liquor regulations and the alcohol levy. They said that since the introduction of the levy and the reduced entertainment and trading hours in 2008, only the rich and powerful survive the harsh business environment that followed the enactment of the Liquor Act.
By Staff Writer Fri 18 Mar 2016, 15:50 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Forlorn hope of a bar owner








Owner of Durban Liquor Bar and Restaurant in Oodi, Richard Letsebe, told Mmegi that the regulations have impacted negatively on his profit margins while affecting his relationship with his suppliers.

He stated that before the trading hours were enacted in 2008, he had an arrangement with his suppliers that he would receive stock on credit and pay at the end of the month.

However, after the trading and entertainment hours were reduced, he started falling behind with payments, as he was running at a loss.  The struggle to keep up with payments soured his relationship with his suppliers at the Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL).

“I had an agreement with them to be supplied and pay later, but eventually I couldn’t fulfil the agreement as I struggled to make money to both sustain the business and pay them. 

The change in trading and entertainment hours has hit us badly.  It has been difficult as my suppliers are even threatening to take legal action against me,” he said.

Letsebe said that the changing times have not affected bar owners only but also other sectors that they work with. He said that he used to engage

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performing artists to entertain his customers, but had to stop because he could not even afford them.

“It is not only us, but the artists as well.  I used to work well with the likes of Gongmaster to entertain and attract customers, but not anymore because by the time they start their performance the police would have arrived to enforce the new law. 

At that time many people would still be on their way to the bar from home, after taking care of their household chores.  The time is too short for our businesses,” he said.

He pleaded with government to consider reviewing the trading hours.  He alluded that Olopeng’s statement to increase entertainment hours has given him hope because it would boost their businesses.

“If he can manage to convince government to change the regulations, we will get something in return.  The times should be reversed to be like in the past when we were allowed to operate until midnight.  I was listening to the minister and his words gave me hope.  I have seen he is a man who has the interest of Batswana at heart,” he said.

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