Bo-Kaap says no to betting business

Bo-Kaap residents objected to an application for a bookmaking licence in the area.

A bookmaking business will move its office to another location after Bo-Kaap residents objected to its application for a licence to operate in the area.

ClevaBets announced that it was moving its office to avoid upsetting the community. The application, published in the Western Cape Government Gazette was for a bookmakers licence, a bookmakers premises and a certificate of suitability to operate in Jordaan Street.

Residents said the area was not the right place for the application.

Among the concerns raised was a possible increase in traffic, parking problems, noise pollution and antisocial behaviour.

By Monday, more than 5 000 people had signed the petition, which said the proposed location is within 100m of several religious institutions, including St Paul’s Church, Loop Street Mosque and Jumuah Mosque, as well as two public schools, St Paul’ s Primary School and Vista High School.

“It is on the walking route of learners to and from school. There are several madrassas (religious schools) in the immediate vicinity.

“The location was within a residential area and had housed a roving casino in the 1990s. The residents protested and the casino was closed down,” they said.

Among the residents who objected was Magboeba Davids. “Allowing gambling dens in our communities teaches people that a life of chance is better than to earn an honest living,” she said.

Gadijah Petersen said:” It is these social ills that is corrupting the fabric of society. We need more churches, mosques, youth centres, skills development centres. Wake up!”

ClevaBets’s head of legal affairs, Morne Pieterse, said they wanted to start an online bookmaking website and the team would be based on the premises. “Gambling legislation says that if you apply for a licence to gamble, whether online or not, you do also need to apply for a premises which is linked to the online licence,” he said.

He said it was sad that residents objected to the application because he would have done a lot of enterprise development in the area. “When you’re in a gambling business, you’re expected to do a social or enterprise development in the area. Be it assisting the schools and lending a hand where it’s needed the most and with our office in the area, we would’ve created job opportunities for a few residents,” he said.

“But the community objected and I’ll move my office to another location to avoid aggravating the Muslim community. Not worth it and I respect different religious beliefs,” he said.

The chairman for the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayer’s Association, Osman Shaboodien said they felt that Bo Kaap, with its heritage and traditions, and with everything that they have fought for, was not the right place for the office.