Curbing the effects of booze

2016-09-27 06:00

The provincial government’s Alcohol-Related Harms Reduction Policy green paper has been gazetted, and is now available for public comment.

The draft policy is a result of extensive research and input from a diverse public sector working group, commissioned by the Western Cape Government. The policy is intended to guide the government’s approach to the regulation of alcohol in the province.

Research indicates that South Africans drink more alcohol than people from most other countries. The average consumption of pure alcohol per drinker is estimated at 27.1 F per year, placing South African drinkers at the upper end of global consumption, the government says in a statement.

In 2013, alcohol was recognised as the third leading risk factor for death and disability in South Africa, following unsafe sex and obesity. It is also a dominant substance of abuse in the Western Cape, the statement says, with cases of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder recorded in the Western Cape are among the highest in the country. It is for this reason that alcohol-related harms provincial government, as a key area of focus in the current term of office.

According to the statement, between seven and 10% of our GDP (between R165bn and R236bn) is the estimated loss to South Africa’s economy due to alcohol-related harms; 70% of crimes are linked to substance abuse; and between 18 and 26% of Grade 1 learners in certain high-risk communities showed signs of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The public is now invited to engage with and provide comment on the gazetted draft policy. The closing date for providing input is 30 November.

The draft policy explores different possible interventions. These would require action from local, provincial and national government, greater enforcement from the police and other safety and security agencies. The roles of the private sector and civil society are also defined.

Some of the key policy proposals include reducing easy access to alcohol (especially underage drinkers), by limiting trading hours in some instances or ensuring ID verification at purchase points; a focus on the entire value chain, including responsible consumption, responsible production, distribution and trade; and support for price increases as a means to impact on binge and youth drinking, especially on payday weekends.

V For more information visit or email

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.