SFB to oppose petrol station’s liquor licence application

The Sea Point Fresnaye Bantry Bay (SFB) ratepayers’ and residents’ association is objecting to an application for a Pick n Pay convenience store at a BP petrol station in Regent Road to sell alcohol.

Filling up on fuel at a petrol station could take another meaning soon.

BP is the first fuel retailer granted a liquor licence in South Africa but The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance South Africa (SAAPA SA) has called for a stop to the sale of alcohol at petrol station shops.

“The garage is in close proximity to a school, an old age care, religious facilities, tourist and transport hubs, so we are objecting to the sale of alcohol based on these grounds,” said SFB vice-chairperson Dr Lydia Abel.

“We are also aligning with SAAPA to object to this and we have called on residents for their support in this matter.”

In June 2021, BP announced its ntentions to sell wine through its Pick n Pay Express convenience stores, with a planned rollout to other BP locations in the coming months.

On the SAAPA website they state that this “convenient” offer is driven by the company’s need to drive customers to their petrol stations and make more profit, along with the following points:

  • It ignores that South Africa South already has one of the highest car crash rates in the world, 58% of which are alcohol-related.
  • It ignores that South Africa already has too many alcohol outlets.
  • It ignores that it will add to “normalising” alcohol consumption in a country where only 31% of citizens drink alcohol.
  • It ignores that children will now have more exposure to advertising promoting alcohol as a lifestyle.

“We have called on all Provincial Liquor Authorities to implement an immediate moratorium on the awarding of all such licenses,” SAAPA SA director Maurice Smithers told website Businesstech.co.za.

He added that there was a significant risk that permitting petrol stations to sell alcohol would lead to an increase in drunk driving.

“It will serve to undermine the efforts of the Department of Transport to reduce alcohol-related traffic incidents through the Road Traffic Amendment Bill, which is currently being considered by parliament.”

Caro Smit, director and founder of the road safety NGO South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) said they would be supporting SAAPA and SFB.

“It’s sending a completely wrong message. Petrol stations and alcohol sales do not go together at all and there’s more than enough outlets selling alcohol in South Africa,” said Ms Smit who started SADD 16 years ago after her 23-year-old son Chas was killed by a drunk driver.

“As citizens we have to stand up for our rights to be safe on the roads, to be safe from people that drink and drive. People don’t see drinking and driving as a crime. Families that have lost relatives suffer emotionally, and those that are paralysed suffer financially, some families are thrown into poverty due to this crime. So this crime costs the victims and their families emotionally and financially.”

The BP garage in Sea Point did not respond to Atlantic Sun’s queries by the time this story was published.