South Africa: Local Efforts to Tackle Alcohol Harm
Alcohol is undeniably fueling gender-based violence and interpersonal violence in general, according to the Community Safety Department of the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Statistics show an incontrovertible correlation between increased levels of violence, interpersonal and gender-based violence, and the abuse of alcohol and other addictive substances in the province,” said Albert Fritz, Community Safety MEC, as per IOL.
IOGT International recently reported that according to Statistics South Africa, either the perpetrator or the victim were reported to have been under the influence of alcohol or other drugs in 72% of sexual violence incidents taking place outdoors and 23.3% of incidents taking place at home.
Alcohol affordability and availability are thus key drivers of gender-based violence.
Alcohol has also been identified as the 3rd leading risk factor for death and disability in South Africa. In the Western Cape region, many attempts have been made over several years to prevent and reduce alcohol harm, by governments and civil society. Unfortunately, there has been little systemic success to show for all the effort.
The Western Cape Government aims to change this by focusing on interventions that make a tangible impact in terms of reducing alcohol harm – so called game changer interventions and programs.
The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) focuses on regulating alcohol availability and affordability.
Our Legalisation strategy is focused on increasing the number of legal liquor outlets and closing down illegal outlets, which will result in a reduction in the number of total liquor retailing outlets in our target areas. This will bring a rule of law to these communities and increase the sense of safety of residents in these areas,” according to the WCG strategy.
For the 2018/19 financial year, the Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer, in partnership with the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA), conducted more than 3,500 inspections at liquor outlets and participated in 76 joint enforcement operations. A total of 112 fines were issued for the period under review.
The new regulations passed under the Western Cape Liquor Act compel WCLA inspectors to issue notices of non-compliance to outlets. The fine has been increased to up to R100,000.