According to alcohol harm statistics provided to the community that attended the series of community discussion at Alexandra San Kopano on 14 and 17 September excessive consumption of alcohol damage several people in the township.
The AB INBEV foundation, local steering committee and other stakeholders met to seek solutions that will help reduce underage and harmful drinking. The discussions had two sessions in a day: one from the morning till mid-day (liquor traders and the community members) and the last one from 2:30pm till 5:00pm which was dedicated for young people.
Aron Masina from Gauteng’s Department of Economic Development said non-compliance from the caretakers plays a major role as they don’t adhere to liquor board trading hours, “Each and every license has trading hours from the liquor board stating at what hours should a tavern, pub owner operate their business but many don’t operate according to it”. 18 600 years of Healthy life are lost a year due to harmful use of alcohol in Alexandra. Assault/murder 52 %, sexual violence 26%, Illness 12%, other injury 4%, crash 3%, use disorder 2% and theft/vandalism 1%.
Dallas Clever strategist for McCann said the workshops was to get community involved and get their input in what can be done to reduce alcohol consumption and after finishing the workshops steering committee will meet and feedback then establish various activities but the whole idea is to get the community involved to drive positivity, hope and love.
Jomo Thubane a liquor trader said it’s SAB’s job to monitor the taverns and maker sure “How do you report someone who bribes police officers?” Asked Thubane. He further said youth needs to be empowered economically as many are disadvantaged and fall into drinking trap that make them commit crimes.
From the workshops, SAB met with steering committees and discussed a logo that would be used for the initiative. The committee includes: Meshack Mavuso, Thabo Mopase, Oupa Motaung, Mpho Masilela, Chantel Semenya, Brian Baloyi to just name a few. Post chosing a logo an alcahol evidence centre was launched at Marlboro on Friday 22 November. The centre was launched by outgoing mayor of Johannesburg councillor Herman Mashaba and The MMC for Public Safety, councillor Michael Sun. This is the second Alcohol Evidence Centre that has been launched in Johannesburg.
The centre will be a central point for the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department(JMPD) and other law enforcement officers dealing with drunken driving in northern Johannesburg. Here, further testing will be done with the Evidential Breath Alcohol Test (Ebat) that was launched a year ago. Ebat is a sophisticated breathalyser, the results of which can be attached to a docket and is admissible in court. “The JMPD will be better equipped to deal with the serious number of drunken driving incidents across the City every month,” said Sun.
“Indeed, in the performance statistics released earlier this month, the JMPD revealed that 2 924 arrests were made for driving under the influence of alcohol in the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year. “Disconcertingly, arrests made from drunk driving reveal that our motorists remain stubborn and continue to put the lives of others at risk.” A total of 1 043 suspects were arrested in October for driving under the influence of alcohol, up from September’s 1 033. “As the JMPD launches its festive season safety campaign, we encourage them to be uncompromising with brazen motorists who continue to flout the law by driving under the influence,” Sun concluded.