Call to curb

2018-07-10 06:00

“There is nothing more disturbing than waking up in the morning to find an underage child lying passed out in the street after a night of partying. The selling of alcohol to these children is an ongoing issue and could end in tragedy.”

These are the words of an angry resident of Lansdowne, after raising concerns about ongoing illegal dealings in liquor and underage drinking among schoolchildren in the area.

“Our local bottle stores are selling off alcohol to anyone and everyone, including underage children. Some of these stores are illegal too, and the owners do not have the necessary licensing to operate,” explains Garmet Road resident, Shihaam Mallie.

“There is not a weekend that goes by where schoolchildren are not found drunk or passed out. Many of these youngsters are also coming from informal settlements across the ward, where they are given drugs and alcohol from adults close to them.”

“In many cases, our parents in the community are drinking and kids are influenced. Because of their (parents’) own addiction, they don’t curb or educate their children on the dangers of it. We urge the police and ward councillor to step in, and to go to these liquor stores to advise them on this issue, even if it means shutting it down,” adds Mallie.

Lansdowne police spokesperson Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka confirms underage drinking is a concern, saying police have identified a shebeen which may be selling liquor to youth.

“Although, this specific shebeen had no trace of selling alcohol to underage children, the issue remains a challenge in the area. We urge local businesses to avoid selling liquor to children under the age of 18. This is a huge issue in our policing precinct especially amongst school going kids. In most cases it contributes to domestic violence in households,” he adds.

In an unrelated incident, a 52-year-old suspect was recently arrested for the illegal dealing in liquor at the Flamingo Heights informal settlement in Lansdowne. The arrest came after police received information about illegal dealing in the area.

Mnyaka says when police arrived at the identified premises last Wednesday; they found six cases of beer, 11F of boxed wine, 10 cases containing empty bottles and more beer.

Lansdowne station commander, Colonel Shawn van Wyk, says the police will leave no stone unturned to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in the community as both contribute to the abuse of women and children.

Anyone wanting to sell liquor is required by law to have a licence, issued by the Western Cape Liquor Authority.

Ward councillor Mark Kleinschmidt says no form of criminality including illegal dealing in alcohol or drugs will be tolerated.

“The perpetrators must be brought to book in the strongest possible terms. It is especially criminal if sold to persons under the age of 18. Lansdowne police have my full support in respect of bringing dignity and respect to Flamingo Heights. I have spent much time and resources in respect of upliftment and skills programmes for the residents of Flamingo Heights.”


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