Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) conducted ‘Gijima Tsotsi Blitz Operation’ to clamp down on non-compliant liquor outlets in and around Alice on Friday evening. The operation was part of the ECLB and SAPS initiative to enforce responsible liquor trading as Easter Weekend looms large and there is an anticipation that liquor outlets might violate their trading conditions and easily become super-spreaders of Covid 19.

During this operation, 56 people were arrested and fined for contravening Alert Level One Curfew conditions. Some of those arrested are University of Fort Hare students that were out and about during Curfew time. They were each fined R500.

In addition, two liquor traders were arrested for contravening Section 19 of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act, which prohibits selling liquor without a valid liquor license, and are expected to appear in court. Quantities of liquor were confiscated. One of the people charged was an old woman at Krwakrwa Location and the other was a young male at Nkobonkobo Location, both are in Alice.

As part of the operation, a 31-year-old male driver was arrested at Gaga Street in Alice for driving under the influence of liquor. He was charged for drunken driving and was given a date to appear in court.

The focus of the operation was also to curb public drinking, which has become a common phenomenon in Alice. ECLB is also very concerned with the increasing rate of people who sell liquor without valid liquor licenses and will replicate similar operations in other areas of the Province, especially as Easter Weekend draws closer and may potentially be fraught with a high rate of non-compliance by some liquor traders.

ECLB encourages community members to report cases of non-compliance with Covid 19 regulations and liquor license conditions to its Toll-Free Line 080 000 0420 or send a message to a WhatsApp Number 076-403-6223.

For all enquiries, contact Eastern Cape Liquor Board Spokesperson Mgwebi Msiya at 0605016418 or email @ [email protected]