Mbabane: The Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo has on Tuesday revoked Trading Licences for hangout spots Solanis Shisanyama and X-Change Lounge for failing to observe COVID-19 regulations.
According to a statement from the Minister of Commerce, the decision was taken by the government to shut down the hangout spots due to a violation of COVID-19 rules.
“It has been brought to the attention of the ministry and evidence presented that some businesses continue to flout COVID-19 regulations at a time when the Kingdom of Eswatini lives under the ominous threat of a third wave of COVID-19 infections.”
“The Disaster Management COVID-19 regulations govern the sale and consumption of liquor, including entertainment events, among others. However, some businesses have continued to serve liquor beyond the regulated hours and host entertainment events where social distancing and the wearing of masks have not been observed,” reads the statement.
It continues to state that these entertainment events, in most cases, have exceeded the stipulated two and a half hours; hence in violation of the regulations. Furthermore, some businesses purported to serve alcohol beyond trading hours and violate COVID19 regulations by not observing social distancing, wearing of masks, and provision of sanitizers.
Khumalo notes that customers were served with alcohol even if not dining, therefore disregarding these regulations.
He said it was in that regard that the Ministry announces that the Trading Licences of Solanis Shisanyama and X-Change Lounge are suspended with immediate effect.
Khumalo also stated that the entertainment event that was also held at Spin City in Siphofaneni over the weekend was under investigation for possible flouting of the COVID-19 regulations.
“We are working in collaboration with the Royal Eswatini Police Service in these investigations,” he said.
Khumalo said his Ministry was also reviewing more weekend reports on incidences of COVID-19 regulations violations to take the necessary action against any business that is in defiance of these regulations whose main aim is to protect emaSwati.
“We wish to send a strong warning to all businesses and event organizers that deliberate flouting of COVID-19 regulations is not only detrimental to their businesses and the economy but also to the lives of emaSwati who not only risk being infected but also infecting those they come into contact with,” he said.
He added that as promised, they will not hesitate to stop such businesses from operating.
“Let us continue to be responsible in all we do and conform to the regulations and protocols meant to prevent another surge of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in the country.”