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Cedric's opening commnets:
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Cedric Offline

Posts: 108
Joined: Oct 2012
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Cedric's opening commnets:

The Shebeen Industry has been part of South African life for many years, possibly only labelled as “shebeen” by some Irish Policeman reporting back to his commander when he discovered a group of African people drinking is a group.

This is part of our lives and will be found in the most rural villages.

Culturally, African men always gather, and as part of their Culturally they would share traditional beer as a social celebration. Over time, as the world has developed the socially accepted alcohol beverages, so this has become part of the accepted cultural social celebration.

The shebeen industry has become problematic in the politically correct human-rights circles mainly due to the perception that the shebeen is directly related to drunkenness and in turn directly related to woman and child abuse.

I personally call for the rethink of this attitude and attack on the shebeen industry, this industry needs to survive in order to ensure economic freedom and the constitutional rights of the shebeen operators and their patrons.


Historically the Government were the only licensed producers and marketers of Traditional Beer, forcing the establishment of shebeens in order to escape the control of the system.
The Beer-Hall operations in the Townships and downtown Johannesburg area was the one area where the police never raided, as they had no desire to impact on the profitability of their lucrative business. If you had any reason to hide from the police because your ‘pass-book’ was not in order, you spend the day, from before sunrise to after sunset, in the beer-hall. Today still, the traditional beer-hall will open their doors before sunrise.

Through till August 1961 the Black population was not allowed to buy ‘white-mans alcohol’, beer, spirits and wines.

Special permission was given to an employer to write a letter giving permission to a black male employee who had ten years service with the one employer to buy six beers from a bottle-store. After fifteen years service, the black male employer was allowed to but six beers and a half-jack brandy.

When discussing this topic with a Beer-Hall owner in Kilptown about when and why the black people were allowed access to ‘white-mans‘ alcohol he relates the next little anecdote:

“Verwoerd opened his eyes and saw all his whites were becoming hobo’s, the coloureds and the whites were drinking. Us black people, were were not drinking like the whites. The few blacks that wanted to but alcohol, they used the whites to buy the alcohol for them from the bottle-store. Soon there were plenty of whites who were doing this instead of working. They become South Africa’s first hobo’s, living off buying for the blacks.”

“When Verwoerd realized this, he called all his Ministers in, (in Afrikaans) “Men, we have a problem, look at what is happening, the blacks are improving, they are all well dressed, smart suits, ties, quality shoes, and look at how the white is deteriorating. Our people are becoming hobo’s. We must do something about this, we must start selling alcohol to the blacks so that we can destabilize their development.”

Having made this decision, the bottle-stores were soon opened to the black people, and very soon the Council opened bottle-stores in all the Townships.

As part of the National Party destabilizing tactic they use the Beer-Hall’s and Bottle-Stores, mainly located on or near the railway station to destabilize the community and family structures. The fathers would arrive home from work with their pay-packets and the first stop was the beer-hall and bottle stores, where they were encourages to imbibe, and transfer most of their income back into the hands of the system.

This status of destabilizing the community continues through till 16th December 1976, when the youth burnt the beer-halls and bottle-stores.

Then, during the turmoil and conflict that followed for the next twenty years, sport and recreational activities died in the Townships, never to be revived, and the shebeen industry mushroomed to fill the supply vacuum that developed off the traditions that was created by the system.


Under the guise of protecting woman and children from abuse through the perceived abuse of alcohol consumption, the politically correct system is committed to closing all shebeens.
It is a travesty of justice to attach the blame for woman and child abuse on the shebeen industry.

The conflict during the period 1976 to 1994 left large portion of our communities scarred, the “lost Generation’ was never rehabilitated, all the struggle veterans, including the white SANDF members, were never reoriented and rehabilitated.

The sports and recreational activities that disappeared in 1984 were never rehabilitated.

Liquor License:

My focus on mapping the future of our Economic Freedom is that we should remove all    restrictive measures that prevent South Africans form trading where their market is, with their product or service, and in turn, forces the consumer to buy product at inflated prices in the restrictive trading area.
What dictates the need for a liquor license?

1:    The premises must have sufficient toilet facilities of a good standard?
    Why can’t the patrons make the decision on whether the toilet facilities meet their requirements. The urinating on the streets occurs outside licensed premises in Melville, this should be controlled outside of the legislated requirement for a license.

2:    High walls and security?
    The security should be the owners preference, the high walls only hide drugs and other illegal activities.

3:    Location of Churches and Schools in relation to the shebeen??
    I fail to understand why the Church or School should be protected from a Shebeen.
    The school community should welcome the shebeen, exposed, and close enough to discourage children from being seen attending the shebeen. Our countries moral standards have deteriorated, our answer is not to close the shebeens, rather, through the shebeen communities we should be giving them ownership and using the exposure to help rebuild our moral decay.
    The Church community should also consider themselves ideally located in a position to impact positively on the shebeen community.
    All noise and other unacceptable behaviour patterns should be controlled by a code of conduct, and    where necessary, criminal prosecution.

4:    At this stage of my research, 12th October 2013, I can find no other reason for the need to have a liquor license?
My personal experience:

As a tour operator the shebeen life is an important tourist attraction. Our international visitors love the shebeen experience.
Friday to Monday is lively to say the least, but our observations are that, no matter how    much drunkenness is present, we never find any aggression or violence in the shebeens. In the white areas, the same level of drunkenness, will result in some form of assault.

Ninety percent of the shebeen patrons are very ‘community area based’ shebeens, with 90% of their patrons are regular, treating the shebeen and owner with great respect, almost protecting their space.

I am close enough to many communities where I can identify the woman and child abuser, and these men do not frequent the shebeen, they would not be socially part of the regular group. These men send their young children to buy the beers and bring them home, where he sits on his chair and get drunk. Then, abuses his family behind the closed doors at home.

Our social services should be able to identify these men who abuse their woman and children and adopt a rehabilitation process to prevent the abuse. If the male who does abuse their woman and children, frequents a particular shebeen, the Social services / SAPS should issue a notice to the shebeen owner not to supply the individual. I am sure that they will comply with this notice.
Through SAB and other liquor distributors, we should invest in community rehabilitation through the shebeen, rather than spend their millions on advertising and driving sales.

The Government wishes to ban advertising, I believe we should be looking at an advertising program through the shebeen industry that builds the community.

We need to save the shebeen.

There is a huge market in Soweto, how much of this anti-shebeen attitude is driven by the elite waiting to exploit this potential. Is it true that Liquor Licenses in the Townships are already being bought by the elite?

As a consumer I should have the constitutional right to buy my Whiskey on any street corner, why must I spend money on transport to get to a licensed outlet, protected by regulations that protect the wealthy and elite.

Economic Freedom is only possible if we remove restrictions that prevent us from trading where our market us in order to protect the elite.

Cedric de la Harpe

10-29-2012 07:40 PM
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