Taverns tackle abuse

2011-06-11 00:00

MAX’S Tavern in Umlazi was the unlikely venue for a “tavern intervention programme” (TIP) hosted by South African Breweries (SAB) and Men for Development in South Africa this week.

More than 100 men from Umlazi, some of whom are known perpetrators of crimes against women and children as a result of alcohol abuse, took part in the six-week workshop to inspire behavioural change.

The owner of Max’s Tavern, Max Mqadi, welcomed the initiative, saying the onus is on stakeholders in the industry to educate their customers about the dangers of alcohol. “There is no doubt that a lot of money is being made from alcohol, but you can’t run away from the dangers,” he said.

He said dealers in liquor from the supplier down to retail must share that responsibility.

“At Max’s we have some simple rules in place that ensure it’s a safe environment. We don’t entertain the abuse of women in any way. If you are drunk you are not allowed to enter the premises and we do not give drunk patrons more alcohol.”

SAB executive director Dr Vincent Maphai said SAB partners with community-based organisations, community policing forums, tavern owners and community leaders. Police databases help to identify offenders

After graduating from the programme the men are encouraged to sign a pledge to be ambassadors of change and champions within their community and form a support group that meets once a month

SAB’s investment in the TIP will initially help to target at least 4 000 men — 800 per year — in all nine provinces over a period of five years.

The Global Fund recently announced its support for TIP with a cash investment of more than R8 million for the next five years.

 

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