• July 10th, 2020

Minister moots alcohol ban at horseshoe market

Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni said in future government wants to formulate regulations to restrict the sale of alcohol at the horseshoe market at the Single Quarters where the main business is the unrestricted selling of alcohol. 
The stalls are popularly known as Libertine Amathila stalls.

Uutoni said the stalls were meant for traders to be innovative and sell their own products and not alcohol.  
“Those selling alcohol will be expected to change their model of business,” said the minister.
Uutoni made the remarks during a visit to the market where he had a meeting with the traders who had closed business on March 27 during the lockdown and had since resumed with their dealings.

He said he didn’t want to delay the reopening of the stalls as traders needed to earn money before schools reopen to provide for their children. The premises have 105 stalls where community members sold food, tailoring business, salons, radio and stove repairs as wellas outlets selling alcohol.

“The purpose of this place was to sell products that would help grow the economy but, in the process, other people came in to sell alcohol but that was not the initial idea. Hence, we are saying we don’t want people to come and sell alcohol. We have many young graduates from tertiary institutions and they don’t have space to do something but this place is occupied by somebody selling alcohol that won’t grow the economy,” stated the urban and rural development minister.

To ensure traders are allowed to resume with business, they cleaned the place themselves. 
The City of Windhoek also assisted with the cleaning and ensured the traders complied with what is expected of them.
Uutoni explained the market belongs to (his) ministry that opened in 1991. It was constructed for former liberation struggle fighters to run their businesses. The ministry and a self-elected committee that runs the operations of the popular market have not been hands on.
Uutoni said the ministry will take over and put measures and regulations in place. Amongst others they will also sort out issues of stalls being sublet to a third party and the lessor pocketing money.

Traders only paid for water and electricity to the City of Windhoek. 
A rental fee was paid to the committee and the money to pay for municipal services and their upkeep. The ministry is not getting any income from the market. The horseshoe market committee chairperson Nicky Markus said they agree with the ministry’s sentiments. “We agree as long as there is order. People selling alcohol should change their business, it is not to say that is the only business attracting customers to the market,” said Markus, a freedom fighter who has been a tailor at the market for 28 years.
– sikela@nepc.com.na

Selma Ikela
2020-05-26 09:31:18 | 1 months ago

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