Safely Home launches new hard-hitting “Ubuthakathi” campaign
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
As part of our Provincial Strategic Goal 3 (PSG 3) and our Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer, the Western Cape Government is committed to tackling the scourge of alcohol head-on. The aim is to reduce the negative impact that alcohol has on the people of the Western Cape.
The Department of Transport and Public Works is intensifying its efforts, not just by bringing back Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing (EBAT) and arresting drink driving suspects over the upcoming Festive Season, but also by focussing our efforts on pedestrians who are under the influence. Addressing the pedestrian alcohol issue squarely is essential if we are going to bring fatalities down in a meaningful way.
More than 600 pedestrians are killed on Western Cape roads every year. This is 50 per month or about 11 per week. They represent 49% of the total fatalities, per the most recent figures for 2016. Most of these pedestrians are killed on weekend nights and are under the influence of alcohol (61% where Blood Alcohol Content is known). Too often the driver who hits them is too.
Alcohol is a constant danger on our roads and is claiming the lives of hundreds of our young men in the prime of their lives, whether they are drinking and driving - or walking - on busy roads when they are incapacitated. Reversing this scourge has never been more urgent.
As part of its year-round road safety calendar, Safely Home has produced the “Ubuthakathi” (meaning “sorcery”) television campaign that graphically depicts the dangerous and deadly situations that are created when alcohol and the roads mix.
The television advertisement can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ8Jqj5xq5U, and will premier tonight, 1 December 2016, on SABC 1 and on eTV.
Our primary target is black and coloured males aged 19 – 29. This is the pedestrian demographic most at risk according to road death statistics. The advertisement is intended to make both drivers and pedestrians think about the effects of alcohol on judgement, and the hazards posed when alcohol and roads are mixed.
The “Ubuthakathi” campaign, under the theme “Alcohol and Roads Don’t Mix”, will be a multimedia campaign that will be going out on television, in cinemas, over radio, outside media (billboards) and online over the December and January periods, and over March 2017 when we have traditionally seen a spike in pedestrian deaths.
The campaign will be targeted at pedestrian hot spot areas across the province, and will feature 32 live road safety awareness activations at busy locations during the peak of the Festive Season. The campaign is also supported by our partners SANRAL and the City of Cape Town, and will be broadcast via the Variable Message Signs on the freeways.
We hope to achieve the same levels of awareness and behavioural change as we have with our successful and award-winning “First Kiss” campaign, which will mean fewer lives lost senselessly on our roads.
It is time that people begin to think differently about their own safety, and the real dangers that they will face should they choose to drink alcohol and take to the roads, particularly as pedestrians. It is time for #BoozeFreeRoads.
I urge all road users to speak to friends and family, and to take action in their communities to promote #BoozeFreeRoads.