LAM pickets in opposition to new liquor legislation in Limpopo

Members of the Limpopo Artists Movement (LAM) came out in big numbers to picket outside the high court in Polokwane on Tuesday.

The picket was in support of the Sekhukhune Liquor Traders Association, which is challenging the new liquor legislation in the province.

The legislation, introduced by the Limpopo department of economic development in July, came into force a week ago. It limits the sale of alcohol up until 12 midnight.

LAM chairperson Mphoza Mashabela said the movement demands that the curfew be scrapped, saying it disadvantages the entertainment industry, taverners and club owners.

The curfew, said Mashabela, is a dreadful reminder of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations which restricted movement and led to many artists fighting for survival.

“We must fight against this law because it is like the apartheid system. Poppy Ramathuba, the MEC for health, must listen why we are against this curfew,” said Mashabela.

“What they have done is cutting artists’ income, and it is a very painful and equally frustrating situation. It also causes depression.

“Why us [in Limpopo]? Gauteng is the most dangerous province. DJ Sumbody was shot and killed [in Gauteng] but it is business as usual.

“The same thing happened in KwaZulu-Natal when AKA was murdered, but it is also business as usual. We are being oppressed [in Limpopo].”

He said LAM will support the Sekhukhune Liquor Traders Association throughout the court battle until the case has been won.

“We should understand that people that go out to nightclubs want to be entertained. This is where artists come in, but the club owner also wants people to buy alcohol,” he said.

“The club owners will not just pay artists just for the fun of it, they want people to come and enjoy and buy [alcohol], so they can afford to pay artists.”

The case returns to court on August 18 after it was postponed following the EFF’s application to join the court proceedings.


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