Fight the booze ills

2011-06-18 14:33

Cry, the Beloved Country … and its young people! This is the haunting feeling we should have as a people after reading the commendable steps taken by City Press to highlight the state of our “Phuza Nation” (City Press, June 12).

It is gives me great encouragement to know the enacted Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act is a step in the right direction.

Even though some of the statistics brought to the nation’s attention by City Press were known to me, seeing them in a national newspaper laid bare, together with the voices of our young people, brought the realisation that the road to deal with the social ills of this country is still very long.

Though it was encouraging to see we have made strides in teaching our young people about responsible sexual behaviour, it is clear we need to be vigorous in implementing stringent laws that will stop our people, especially the youth, from engaging in irresponsible drinking behaviour.

They should be proud to have fun without getting drunk and passing out.

As a leader and mother, I read with trepidation the comments by people aged 21 that the sole reason for them to drink is to “pass out”.

It shows lack of understanding of the consequences of irresponsible drinking behaviour on the part of our young adults.

It is imperative we engage with our youth leaders and youth organisations to assist us in combating the scourge that besets a Phuza Nation. We need to discourage the “Moet” culture that occupies the media space.

We cannot continue to be apologetic and sacrifice our children because we are concerned about losing revenue from advertising.

It is also important for the department of social development to continue engaging with our law enforcement agencies to make them understand we cannot win this battle without their cooperation.

As a start we need to rely on an efficient and corrupt-free police and metro police service that is assisted by an efficient criminal justice system.

Very soon we will prohibit novice drivers (0 – three-year drivers after obtaining a driver’s licence) from consuming any alcohol before driving.

As government we are aware that we cannot attain all these goals without forging relationships with strategic partners.

It will be appreciated to see more media houses coming forward to assist us in building better communities, free of alcohol and substance abuse.


 

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