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Liquor traders seek bigger economic tot

Nov 27 2012 11:29 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Liquor traders need economic transformation and a bigger piece of the industry, the SA Liquor Traders' Association (Salta) said on Tuesday.

"Broad-based black economic empowerment must be an instrument to transform the industry, [but] it is not being applied to the fullest," said Salta president Saint Madlala.

He said that while there were many black retailers of liquor, distribution and supply was still dominated by large, untransformed, corporations.

"You still see some traces of what was there before 1994," Madlala said.

He said that while some black executives were hired by corporations, they were only "tokens" and that transformation had not been meaningful.

Salta's issues with the industry were not limited to the hiring of black people, but included the structure of distribution networks, which Madlala said was dominated by large players.

He said that when liquor laws were relaxed after 1994, large suppliers were allowed to enter into distribution.

Liquor retailers went to the government and appealed for the law to be changed to allow distribution to be taken over from the bottom rather than the top by suppliers.

"We discussed with government and there were 'yesses' all around, but there was no implementation," Madlala said on the sidelines of Salta's transformation conference.

He said the conference was being attended by Salta members from across the country, and representatives of the department of trade and industry, the Gauteng department of economic development, SAB and Liquor City.

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