Initiatives to combat alcohol abuse are launched

2017-06-07 06:02
The SAB has launched a new campaign called ‘Be Part of the change’.PHOTO: sourced

The SAB has launched a new campaign called ‘Be Part of the change’.PHOTO: sourced

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SOUTH African Breweries (SAB) announced on June 2, two new initiatives to address the harm caused by alcohol abuse.

These initiatives will tackle the issue through impactful programmes which drive behaviour change and raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse.

A new campaign, “Be Part of the Change”, further develops the SAB 18+ Be The Mentor campaign narrative, which has been in place for three years, as it explains how adults across the spectrum can become involved in combating underage drinking.

In addition, SAB has committed to investing almost R40 million to improving conditions in township taverns in key provinces in South Africa, of which about R13 million will be invested in KZN.

This investment will go towards improving infrastructure such as lighting, facilities and security.

Zone president of Africa: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) Ricardo Tadeu and SAB said the two initiatives are a critical part of the company’s drive to tackle the harmful use of alcohol.

“We believe everyone can be part of the change. The 18+ Be the Mentor campaign is about starting a movement which calls on everyone over the age of 18 in South Africa to take that first step and become a mentor — ‘Be Part of the Change’.

“And we are so pleased and honoured that the KwaZulu-Natal government has joined us to improve conditions of taverns in townships through an important public/private partnership.”

Speaking on behalf of the KZN Economic Development and Tourism Department, Mbali Myeni, chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Board, said: “Our government remains deeply concerned by the problems of alcohol abuse and accepts responsibility to make every effort to reduce alcohol-related harm.

“I believe that no single action is likely to reduce alcohol abuse problems, but rather a mix of self-regulation, the enforcement of existing laws governing sale and consumption, and targeted interventions like the ones that SA Breweries has initiated, combined with individuals taking personal responsibility for their drinking choices.”

SAB will sign up about 500 volunteer mentors in five provinces — KZN, Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and the Free State — and give them training and support.

“We believe they will be able to mentor at least 1 000 youngsters as a first step. We know that by stopping or preventing underage drinking, we will create a positive change in communities. And this is just the start of a movement that will grow over time.

“Tavern owners will also receive training in business skills, which will help promote economic development and tourism in Durban,” Tadeu said.

“Smart drinking choices affect everyone, every day. Through initiatives like 18+ and the tavern intervention programme, SAB is committed to helping foster a global culture of smart drinking to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.”

— Supplied.

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