Bill banning alcohol ads to cabinet

By Drum Digital
23 August 2013

A draft bill banning alcohol advertising will be submitted to Cabinet soon, a Cabinet committee said on Friday.

The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to combat alcohol and substance abuse had agreed to submit the draft Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill during the next cabinet cycle.

"The IMC, chaired by Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, and comprising 11 other ministries agreed that the bill, in its current form was ready for consideration by Cabinet with the view to gazette it for public comment," a statement from the committee said.

The IMC cited numerous inputs from government departments and civil society as motivation for approving the bill.

"Research has shown that, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among adults in South Africa [is] expanding rapidly to the destruction of the families, community and society. Government cannot afford to ignore or be quiet about it."

The IMC said moves by the industry to curb harm caused by drinking alcohol, such as promoting responsible drinking, were not yielding results.

"The IMC agreed that this approach is at odds with most of the evidence gathered by various researches (sic) across the globe and that there was a need for various approaches, including the banning of alcohol advertising to deal with the devastating socio-economic impact of this scourge."

Various departments presented reports on the effect of alcohol on society.

"The department of health presented that tangible costs of alcohol in South Africa have been estimated to be close to R38 billion while intangible costs could reach R240 billion (sic)."

Alcohol was also the third leading risk factor for death and disability in South Africa.

According to the transport department more than half of the country's road deaths occurred as a result of alcohol abuse.

"Around 70 percent of domestic violence has been associated with alcohol; arrestees indicated that they were under the influence of alcohol for 25 percent of weapons-related offences, 22 percent of rapes, 17 percent of murders, 14 of assault cases, and 10 percent of robberies."

-Sapa

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