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BROKEN BOTTLES: Members of the Greenfields Community Policing Forum cleaning up litter and bottles strewn around Reitz Avenue by people drinking in the street Picture: SUPPLIED
Greenfields residents in and around Reitz, Hampstead and Jan Smuts avenues gathered at a community meeting on July 6 to express their objection over local business Ukhozi Gaming having applied for a liquor licence.
Situated at 3 Reitz Avenue in Greenfields, opposite well-known Tasha’s pub and grub, Ukhozi Gaming, which provides gambling, leisure and entertainment facilities, has been in operation for a year.
The residents are objecting to the liquor licence on the grounds that with five existing liquor outlets in the immediate area, a sixth would contribute to increased crime, violence and disruption in the area.
At the meeting, Ukhozi Gaming partner Wayne Krenski, said: “People want to be able to just come to our place and relax do some sports betting and have a drink or two.”
Krenski said Ukhozi Gaming was intended to be a respectable entertainment facility in the area, dissimilar to existing “run-down, back- street taverns”. He said the business also contributed to the area’s economic growth by providing jobs, as well as contributing to gaming taxes.
Greenfields Community Policing Forum member, Herman Goosen, said: “People buy their alcohol and consume it outside in the street and break bottles, and get intoxicated and start fighting.
“Just yesterday [ July 5] we had violence here with three people stabbed. It’s an on-going problem we have. The youth from George Randall Primary see these things on a daily basis and they tend to think this is the norm.”
The residents complained that liquor outlet patrons left litter strewn around, which community members had to clean up. They also believe Krenski will not be able to keep a firm enough grip over his patrons should liquor become available on the premises.
Greenfields ward councillor Shandre Hoffman said there was some confusion between the town planning office and the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board, as town planners insisted Reitz Avenue was not zoned for a business with an entertainment licence yet one was issued to Ukhozi Gaming in 2021.