The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that South Africa is rated the highest in terms of alcohol abuse especially amongst young people and the main cause is peer pressure, boredom and ignorance of alcohol harms.In minimizing the impact Bokone Bophirima through Economy and Enterprise Development is up in arms creating awareness and enforcing liquor laws focusing in the Villages, Township and Small Dorpies areas.
“We are concerned about the rate in which our young people are abusing alcohol hence we have developed a joint liquor programme together with the relevant stakeholders to introduce the harmful effects of alcohol abuse which includes social responsibility programme, roadshows, educational school lectures and compliance inspections. We hope that through these kind of interventions will be able to minimize alcohol consumption and change their drinking behavior’’, said Ms Onnica Sithole: Chief Director Business Regulation.
The Department in partnership with South African Police Service (SAPS) and local liquor traders has recently brought hope and smile to the vulnerable families through a social responsibility programme in Khuma, Matlosana Local Municipality. Donations which include chairs, children safety kids, groceries and toiletries were given to Siyakha Isizwe Multi-Purpose Centre, a non-profit organization founded by Mr Bright Mndaka in 2009 with primary purpose of assisting vulnerable children in their area of locality.
The initiative is aimed at reducing the socio-economic factors related to alcohol abuse and also expressing governments unwavering support to vulnerable families.
The week long programme was concluded with a compliance inspection where a total number of 29 liquor outlets were visited. Approximately 10 outlets were found to be in contravention of the Liquor Act 29, of 1989 as amended with offenses ranging from managing liquor outlet without proper documentation, selling liquor beyond trading hours, several bottle stores were selling liquor on Sundays. One tavern and two bottle stores were closed for selling takeaways and operating on Sunday respectively.
“We have observed an ongoing transgression wherein liquor traders operating two outlets in different areas using same license. We strongly condemn this move and will take tough actions to those affected. A report has been prepared for affected parties to appear before Provincial Liquor Board before a final decision on action to be taken against them, said Sithole.
Liquor traders are urged to follow procedures as outlined in the Liquor Act if they intend to make changes in their licenses to avoid penalties. The Department will continue with the programme in all the four districts.