SADD welcomes ban on booze ads

2010-12-17 00:00

THE anti-drunk driving group, South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD), have welcomed the ban on alcohol advertising but want government to do more in preventing the sale of alcohol in KZN, especially on Sundays.

This follows an announcement earlier this week by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that the government wants to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorships in a bid to curb alcohol abuse and to regulate the alcohol industry.

However, SADD spokesperson Caro Smith, who is based in Pietermaritzburg, said yesterday that the group, together with the KZN Substance Abuse Forum and other organisations that support similar causes, will challenge government to cut trading hours of outlets that sell alcohol in the province which she said are, according to rumours, about to be extended.

Smith said it was the group’s understanding that the recent Liqour Bill passed by the KZN Legislature will allow alcohol to be sold on Sundays and the selling of liquour at night clubs, casinos, pubs and restaurants will be extended.

She also told The Witness that next year they will be taking the campaign of curbing alcohol consumption to high schools throughout the province.

“The KZN Substance Abuse Forum and many other organisations were totally against this new ‘law’, and submitted reasons why the trading hours should not be increased. How then was this law being passed by the KZN department of Economic Affairs [Development]?”, asked Smith.

Spokesperson for the KZN department of Economic Development, under which the KZN liqour board falls, Bheko Madlala, said that the proposed liquour bill debated by the legislature recently is not yet law. He said at this stage it is still a proposal.

Smith said that alcohol abuse is behind many crimes in SA, including rape, violence towards women and children, assaults, drunk driving and pedestrian deaths.

“The leading cause of death in people between the ages 15 and 29 years is car crashes, and alcohol misuse is behind many of these. South Africa already consumes the most alcohol per capita in the world, and so we need to decrease our drinking rather than increase trading hours, as has been done in the Western Cape,” she said.

Smith urged all interested parties and individuals who can assist the group in fighting the selling of alcohol on Sundays and extended trading hours for liqour outlets as well as limit alcohol misuse in KZN to get in contact with SADD.

“SADD fully welcomes Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s ban on alcohol advertising, as this is also proven to cut down alcohol consumption, especially in underage and very impressionable youngsters,” she said.

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