Booze We’ve got a hotel and three houses on Eloff Street
Smarting from its recent defeat at the hands of the Competition Appeal Court, the Department of Economic Development is taking aim at all the other retailers for their allegedly monopolistic practices in the sale of alcoholic beverages, which, it claims, drive the smaller retailers out of business. The instrument with which they are taking this aim is a possible addition to the Gauteng Liquor Act which if amended will stipulate that the Liquor Board may refuse an application if it “may cause a harmful monopolistic condition to arise or be aggravated”, which is a soothing broad expanse of legal scenery as one might like to contemplate of an evening. Pick n Pay, as they do, are taking up cudgels on behalf of everyone, averring that “the four major grocery groups, including Pick n Pay in South Africa, own less than 10% of the total off-consumption liquor sales.” Liquor City are giving it right back: “We deny all the allegations which have been made against Liquor City” while SPAR are pointing out that they own only 11 liquor outlets and ahem, six DCs, and that their members are the very independent retailers that the Department wishes to protect from, well, SPAR.
Comment: Pour yourself a double scotch and settle back into the chesterfield. This is going to be good.