Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Shebeen raids in Jouberton

Tshepo Mmusi

Klerksdorp, Jouberton Township

27 January 2021

After the president announced that alcohol sales and consumption onsite is prohibited, this affected many livelihoods in many households. With high levels of unemployment many people are doing small businesses in order to survive. Many have resorted to selling vegetables and fruits in small stalls in street corners and others are selling alcohol etc. After alcohol was banned in December 2020 festive season many shebeen owners resorted to selling concoction alcohol which is sold to desperate members of the community who want to have good time with friends.

A challenge shebeen owners are facing is that they are being from time to time being raided by the police, and that put a strain on them being unable to feed their families. One of the shebeen owners by the name of Z at Jouberton hostel, in an interview, indicated that it was not for the first time even in March 2020 when the country was declared to be in level 5 lockdown and alcohol banned the very next day police arrived and confiscated his alcohol. He said painfully that the alcohol seized is not even taken to the police station and reported, the police officers on duty take it for themselves. He continued to mention that beers and other beverages are out of stock in the system so they are resorting to concoction alcohol they still come to confiscate and put inside their vehicles, why do they just dispose of it and leave. And if concoction alcohol is taken to the police station, then the police station will reek heavily of alcohol. They just take it for themselves at our expense. What do we say about the lives of the people? Does the government starve them to death? Despite the fact that they are illegal traders, where is humanity in all of that?