New traditional beer regulations go into effect today
by Mpho Keleboge
Traditional beer traders across the country are expected to stop selling from home as the new regulations governing the sale of traditional beer are to be enforced from today, Sunday, July 1st.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcus Makgato Malesu said that retailers who sell traditional beer under licence for commercial purposes should be in possession of a liquor depot licence.
She said that they should stop selling from their homes, unless for products declared as traditional beer by the ministry, which include mokuru, morula and Khadi that can continue to be sold from homes.
The new liquor hours will also be from 2 p.m. to 10 o’clock in the evenings from Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday they will operate from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday and public holidays they will be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Those selling traditional beers will operate from 2 to 6 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday they will operate from 12 noon to 7 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.
The minister has, however, confirmed that there is a challenge in various locality of land but the six month transition period was for people to look for land not for government to look for land for them.
“I have met with the Minister of Local Government, Botswana Breweries Limited who had shown me a strategy of what they intend to do, to assist those people who had managed to locate land, But for those who have not found land, they must try hard to find it for themselves not from government,” said Malesu. “I can confirm that there are few approvals that have already found land in their own right.”
Malesu said that the government used to have depots in use but because of the trend of changing the style of trading and taking it into homesteads, the majority of them were then not utilized. But she added that they are looking at other areas that they can zone and see if they can assist a few who have not found land.
Traditional beer sellers in the three big towns, Gaborone, Francistown and Lobatse have pleaded with government to extend the current grace period before implementing the new traditional beer regulations, which are to take effect today.
The regulations, which have been received with mixed feelings by the traditional beer sellers countrywide, will see the banning of the sale of traditional brew from homesteads to depots and other regulated spots.?The sellers accuse government of seeking to implement the regulations before resolving the issue of land. They have further pointed an accusing finger at government over poor consultation before introducing the new regulations.
Kgalagadi Breweries Limited has promised to help some retailers to establish themselves in new locations with P10 million to build structures, especially in highly populated areas. The four major routes served by BBL are Gaborone, Francistown, Palapye and Lobatse.