Shebeen owners urged to give back to the community

The negative perception people have of the alcohol trade can only be changed by shebeen owners themselves, a regional government official has said.

03 September 2021 | Social Issues

ESTER KAMATI

OTJIWARONGO

With ongoing discussions about the regulations which prohibit shebeen owners to trade during weekends and sell alcohol on site, the Otjozondjupa regional chairperson has asked bar owners in the region to look into giving back to the community.

Marlyn Mbakera said shebeen owners should take up the challenge to change the perception people have about the trade.

“The negative perception people have about the trade can only be changed by the shebeen owners themselves.”

With shebeen owners contributing to the economic activity of the country, Mbakera also acknowledged that shebeens and bars absorb a large number of unemployed young people in their communities, thus curbing unemployment.

She emphasised the importance of redefining how society sees shebeens, which she said can be done when the owners of these businesses start ploughing back into their communities.

“We have people who are suffering in our communities, some people are starving, she said.

Dire need

Mbakera added that bar owners mainly pay tax when they buy large amounts of stock but do not plough back into their community with the profit they make from sales.

“Let us look into how we can serve the communities we are living in. Our community is in dire need; we have desolated people and people who are suffering in our communities and societies.

“When we see people going into the shebeen and coming out drunk and tomorrow that shebeen owner gives to the poor, we’ll recognise that they are at least somehow looking after the granny in their street.”

She further applauded shebeen owners for their contribution to reducing unemployment.

“As a constituency councillor, young ladies are coming to my office. Today they are unemployed. Most of the people shebeen owners are employing are the youth who have been left on the streets.

“Others feel like people are murdering each other at shebeens. You know what alcohol does to our society. That’s why it is needed that you bring forth possible solutions to the problem,” she said.

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