MAXINE TWADDLE

Popular campus hangout Oom Gert se Plek is limiting the types of alcohol available to students.

From April 2012, only wine- and beer-based liquor, such as coolers, ciders and beer, will be sold before 17:00. It is only after 17:00 that students will be able to purchase stronger drinks such as spirits.

The owner of Oom Gert, Xander Schoeman, told Perdeby that he made this decision because he does not want the establishment to be seen as a “drinking hole.”

“It is better for students to enjoy a beer, or a cider while having lunch – they don’t need shooters,” he said.

Schoeman said that students should be able to relax at Oom Gert, without being disturbed by the drunken behaviour of students at the next table, adding that “this isn’t Hatfield Square.”

Tuks Afrikaanse Studente (TAS) has objected to Oom Gert’s new rules. TAS has approached the Student Representative Council (SRC) in hopes of pressuring the restaurant into reversing its decision. TAS, which is a cultural organisation, will also conduct a survey to ascertain what Tuks students think about this new regulation.

Francois Cloete, chairperson of TAS, told Perdeby, “The big worry is that if students cannot get this kind of alcohol on campus, they will go look [for it] in other places [like] Hatfield Square.”

Cloete suggested that this could lead to students missing lectures because they are socialising off-campus.

“There was never a problem when stronger alcohol was sold at Oom Gert,” Cloete said.

SRC Deputy President, Gerbrand Lindeque, who also heads the Service Providers portfolio in the SRC, said that the SRC supports responsible drinking, “especially on our campuses,” but added that “Oom Gert is part of the culture of Tuks.”

Expressing the SRC’s belief in freedom of choice, Lindeque told Perdeby that the SRC “[trusts] that students will not abuse the privilege to consume alcohol on campus.”

Lindeque assured students that the SRC would investigate the matter once more information has been made available.

The University of Pretoria holds a blanket liquor license, which allows restaurants on campus to sell all types of alcohol, and the university does not dictate what alcohol they may sell, or when they may sell it.

What do you think of Oom Gert’s new ‘rule’? Tweet us @perdebynews or use the i-lincc: pPerdeby749b.

Photo: Charné Fourie

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