Drink wise and stay safe

2010-03-04 12:27

MORE than half of the people who die as a result of violence in

South Africa test positive for alcohol. Health project Soul City made this

startling announcement at the launch of its Phuza Wize (drink wise) campaign


The campaign aims to encourage responsible drinking habits.

According to the research Soul City conducted, people who

over-indulged in alcohol were more likely to end up getting involved in risky or

violent behaviour.

Dr Neo Morejele, Soul City’s research team representative, was more

vocal and in agreement that risky or violent behaviour are often the results of

excessive drinking.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the dangers of alcohol abuse,

Morejele said: “Alcohol is a psychoactive drug which affects how people behave.

Those who drink it in large quantities engage in violent behaviour.”

The campaign aims to reduce violent behaviour by 10% in men aged

between 15 and 35 by 2014. It also wants to ensure that people understand the

risks of alcohol abuse in relation to violence and HIV infection, and encourage

liquor sellers to make their premises safe and not to sell to children.

Members of the panel, which included representatives from the South

African Liquor Traders Association (Salta) and Sisonke Gender Network, agreed

that there was a casual link between violent behaviour and the abuse of


They said there was a need to encourage people to drink in


Salta’s representative, Saint Madlala, said he supported the

campaign and would ensure that members of his association adhered to making

their liquor outlets safer drinking places.

Dr Sue Goldstein, a senior executive at Soul City, said:

“International experience indicates that changing drinking environments and

reducing the availability of alcohol have the effect of reducing incidents of


Kwaito singer Kabelo Mabalane, a repented alcoholic, said as a

youngster growing up in Soweto he experienced the negative effects of alcohol

abuse and encouraged those who consumed alcohol to do so in moderation or

abstain from it.


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