District meetings |25 May 2023
Government to crack down on shopkeepers who flout alcohol sale hours
The government is considering introducing a hefty fixed penalty for shopkeepers who are selling alcohol outside the recommended hours as part of continued effort to control alcohol abuse in the country.
President Wavel Ramkalawan made the comment during yesterday’s public meeting in Au Cap, at the Domaine de Val des Pres.
He said cabinet was considering a R5000 fixed penalty to deter this illegal practice.
The head of state informed the packed room that the government will also implement a total ban on the publicising of alcohol sale on shops and that displays of alcohol in the shops, behind the person at the counter, would also be removed.
When addressing a question on the sale of cigarette paper, and whether the government was considering introducing a ban on this, the President said they would look into it as cigarette paper is used for smoking drugs.
“We would look into it because our fight against drugs is a serious one,” said President Ramkalawan.
Yesterday’s meeting also included a presentation by the Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, who outlined his ministry’s plan for the district.
According to Minister Rangasamy, there are around 50 housing applications, with 20 that have been on the waiting list for over a decade. There are also 26 applicants requesting a mid-range condominium, with half of them waiting for over ten years.
There are also 53 persons that have lodged applications for land. “Although there has been a lot of work in the past, there is still a high demand and we are working very hard with the finances we have. Already there is an eight-unit project nearing completion that is targeting mostly those residing at the ‘ex-teachers site’ in Turtle Bay which is in a deplorable state,” stated Mr Rangasamy.
He added there are also finances for construction of another 16 units at ‘Le Domaine’, which will start in July this year.
According to the minister, if everything goes according to plan, there will also be a new housing project next year in an area called ‘ex-Mahé farmers’.
“Generally we are coming up with solutions, but I ask you to be patient because there are challenges with their implementation and the speed at which we can complete these projects,” said the minister.
Another question referred to the construction of a fish and vegetable market for the district, which the elected member for Au Cap, Kelly Samynadin, confirmed was already in the plan.
She informed the meeting that she had already met with the fishing community, along with the district administrator and encouraged the fishermen to set up an association so as to benefit from the various offers from the Seychelles Fishing Authority.
With regard to the market, she highlighted the challenges including the difficulty to identify a proper terrain for the project. “Space is scarce; there is erosion near the coast and there are no plots available inland, so we are still looking around, but a market is definitely our priority,” explained Hon. Samynadin.
Similar to other districts, issues raised included new roads for housing estates, construction of bin sites and bus stops, health service, salaries, anti-social behaviour and crimes such as thefts.
Au Cap was the ninth district for the public meeting chaired by the head of state. Today he will be in Cascade.