An online petition to prevent the opening of a liquor outlet on Port Alfred’s popular West Beach has been signed by 1,400 people.
The residents fear patrons of the planned bottle store would consume alcohol and then swim in the ocean, giving rise to increased drownings.
The petition was started by Port Alfred resident Terri Stander on Change.org and calls for local businessman Toby van Tonder to scrap his plans for the outlet.
“Residents contacted me and told me they were concerned about liquor off-sales and a licence that appears to have been granted, [which] no-one in Port Alfred knew about,” Stander said.
“It is unclear how the public participation process went.
“I contacted the ward councillor to find out what is going on and he said the public participation process had been followed.
“I tried to ask for information for the advertisement and he said he was not in his office and all the documentation was is in his office.”
She said all Van Tonder needed was an endorsement from the Ndlambe municipality to obtain the licence.
Stander said the liquor outlet would be detrimental to the Port Alfred community, as sexual harassment crimes were already reported at the beach last week.
“This is a tourist town and there is an influx of holidaymakers.
“A liquor store on the beachfront will put people’s lives in danger.”
She said residents had also raised environmental concerns over the business, including glass and plastic pollution, life-threatening situations relating to intoxicated people swimming in the river, walking along the pier or swimming in the sea.
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BY: BHONGO JACOB
SOURCE: DISPATCH LIVE