The Department of Economy and Enterprise Development through Liquor Regulation Unit embarked on a social responsibility campaign to raise awareness on adverse effects of alcohol abuse and also to encourage liquor traders to give back to their communities recently at Mareetsane Village in Ratlou Local Municipality.
The campaign was in response to the concern raised by Leepile Diphahe, Chairperson of Mareetsane Football Association on the increase of alcohol abuse especially amongst young people in their village. The Department noted that alcohol abuse does not only has harmful effects on the body, but also results in crime, sexual violence, high risk sexual behaviours and increased levels of conflict in families, amongst others.
Amongst the activities of the day was a soccer tournamentthat was arranged by Mareetsane Football Association to encourage young people to a healthy life style by taking part in sporting activities.
“Through this kind of tournament we want to keep young people busy and also away from criminal activities. We have engaged the Department as liquor regulatory body and South African Police Service (SAPS) to offer support through their programmes as alcohol is negatively affecting our future leaders”, said Mr Leepile.
The Department was after the tournament afforded an opportunity to educate young people on the negative effects of alcohol abuse, its contribution to social ills which will result in violent behavior.
Director for Liquor Regulation, Khumoetsile Taoana explained that the department has a role ofcreating awareness to communities on responsible drinking and also by ensuring that traders adhere to their rights and responsibilities as outlined in the Liquor Act 27 of 1989, as amended. “As a Department we have social responsibility programmes as way of encouraging liquor traders to take part in the development of local communities as this will contribute in reducing socio-economic factors related to alcohol abuse, said Ms Taoana.
Furthermore, the department donated food parcels to two families which are negatively affected by alcohol abuse within Mareetsane village. It was observed during the visit that one family have more than seven members staying in one-roomed mud hurt and depends on social grants of the grandparents whilst the other older people were found intoxicated.
“The living conditions in both the families were very bad and not conducive for small children, one could sense the signs of hunger and neglect from a distance.This is one of the programmes which are dear to our hearts as the department and we are content to denote that it is growing as result of support from our stakeholders in liquor industry. This is a true reflection that through the spirit of Saamtrek-Saamwerk we can do more by changing lives of the people of Bokone Bophirima especially those in villages, townships and small dorpies (VTSD),” said Taoana.
Appreciating the support from government, Chairperson of Mareetsane Football Association said they are committed to continue with the social responsibility programmeto bring transformation within their localitiesand ensure that community members have better living conditions.
The department will continue with its social responsibility programme on quarterly basis across all the districts of the province to take part in their social responsibility programme as an integral facet of the doctrine of Ubuntu to change the negative attitude within the liquor industry.