FS MEC wants number of liquor outlets reduced

MEC for the Department of Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini
The Free State MEC of Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini is currently engaging with a number of stakeholders, to have the number of liquor outlets in the province significantly reduced.

This as Provincial Police Commissioner, Moeketsi Sempe, revealed during a media briefing on the Free State’s crime figures for the 2018/19 financial year on Tuesday (October 1), that the province has 1630 taverns, 1386 liquor stores, 812 restaurants and 11 nightclubs with liquor licences.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) states 60% of the murders committed in South Africa over the course of the 2018/19 financial year occurred during the weekend. Worryingly, when they add the number of murders committed on Mondays to the weekend figures, they find that a whopping 70% of the total crimes committed in South Africa occur between Friday and Monday. When police probe the weekend statistics further, they find the vast majority of those murders happened between Saturday 21:00 pm and Sunday 03:00 am.  This has led to the conclusion made by Sempe and the SAPS management that high alcohol and drug abused is closely linked to the crimes committed.

Mashinini is adamant, getting rid of liquor outlets with the assistance of the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) forms an important part of reducing crime in the province. Mashinini says no tavern or liquor outlet should be located near any school and that is one of their focuses. Taverns have been identified as one of the areas where government will introduce a mass media campaign, targeting communities and public spaces including workplace, university campuses and schools in combatting gender-based violence by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Free State’s murder rate decreased by 5,1% in 2018/19, while the national murder rate shot up by 3,4%. The province is one of a few provinces that managed to reduce the annual murder rate. The province’s murder rate has, however, steadily increased over a ten-year period, by over 11% with the murder rate dropping three times in the ten year period: In 2013/14, 2016/17 and now in 2018/19.