The Monitor :: Let's Dialogue About Liquor Trading Hours
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Last Updated
Thursday 15 November 2018, 14:12 pm.
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Let's Dialogue About Liquor Trading Hours

The nation was bubbling with excitement last week after a "fake" document claiming Government was planning to extend liquor trading hours, circulated on social media. This came shortly after President Mokgweetsi Masisi stated at a Kgotla meeting in Rakops that there is a need for dialogue on the issue.
By Monitor Editor Mon 21 May 2018, 11:41 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Let's Dialogue About Liquor Trading Hours








Masisi reiterated this stance when addressing Batswana living in eSwatini, during his State visit to the country last week.

The shortened liquor trading hours, especially for bars, nightclubs and other entertainment spots had a number consequences, which include job losses due to reduced profit margins, and some business were forced to close. The shortened hours and the hefty levy were interventions aimed at tackling the issue of excessive drinking, but the intervention seem to have failed miserably in reducing consumption of alcohol.

Reduction of liquor trading hours seems to have given birth to more challenges such as people dealing in illegal trade of alcohol. A lot of people complained bitterly, specifically promoters, and different players in the entertainment industry, when the new regulations were implemented during former president Ian Khama’s tenure, citing that they were not consulted on the issue.

Entertainment is an industry, which has a potential to contribute significantly to economic growth. Artists get part of their income from hosting shows, and the regulations seem to have impacted negatively on the trade. The position taken by

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President Masisi to open dialogue is a step in the right direction. Consultation is key in a democracy. We are not saying decisions taken after consultations will satisfy everyone, but it will definitely be based on what majority want, or what they feel is right.

It is important to do research on the level of alcohol and substance abuse in the country, and get to the root cause of the problem, and then take it from there in solving the problem. Introduction of the hefty levy seems not have accomplished much as people continued to buy volumes and volumes of alcohol, properly short-changing money for groceries and other necessities.

We commend President Masisi for stating that consultations will take place over the issue. Like he said, the consultations should include those who imbibe as well as those who are averse to it, so that the two camps can meet halfway. We all have the right to live freely in our own country and enjoy a conducive environment, which will contribute to our emotional wellbeing.

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