Alcohol abuse costs R9bn a year
Johannesburg - Alcohol abuse costs the economy R9bn a year, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said on Monday.
This amounted to 1% of the country's gross domestic product, she told the start of a Sobriety Week campaign in Pretoria, according to a statement issued by her office.
"According to the World Health Organisation, the annual liquor consumption by South Africans amounts to 7.81 litres of pure alcohol per person. This level of consumption ranks South Africa 52nd on a list of 191 countries."
The effects of alcohol abuse on the economy could be seen in absenteeism, poor productivity, high job turnover, interpersonal conflict, injuries and damage to property.
The campaign called on all South Africans to ensure fellow citizens were protected from the irresponsible consumption of, and trading in, alcohol.
Public awareness and education campaigns would be launched in areas where alcohol abuse was most prevalent.