THE Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s decision to grant a liquor licence to Mama’s Tavern in Alfred Road is “deeply disturbing”, according to Ward 10 councillor Ross Purdon.
The board’s only condition was that there should be no parking in front of the emergency gate of the Settlers Park retirement village across the road from the tavern, which operates from a single garage.
The matter came up in last week’s Ward 10 meeting.
“Those who were on Ward 10 before will remember how vigorously you opposed (this application),” said Purdon.
The ward committee previously declined the application by proprietor Misiwe Magobiyana after 90 objections from neighbours.
Purdon said he had travelled to Bhisho to testify before the Liquor Board against the application “and I thought I had won”.
The manager of Settlers Park, Kevin Mileham, had also testified, he said.
Purdon said council speaker Vivian Maphaphu agreed with him that “this smacks of arrogance” by the Liquor Board to overrule council.
Ward 10 member Lynn Nettelton said there were a number of irregularities with the tavern.
“Crime has increased in the area because of the tavern, it’s a residential area, and there is no parking allocated,” said another member, Clinton Millard of MultiSecurity.
“We’ve had complaints from many local people, including the school,” said Purdon. “It should never have been allowed. This is a bane on Ward 10.”
Ndlambe town planner Mluleki Matiwane said the property from which the tavern operated was still zoned residential and may not used for business.
“Council can take the decision to decline this,” he said. “I don’t think any person will have the power to overrule the authority of the local authority in town planning regulations.”
Matiwane said the municipality had made such a decision in the past and would do so again.