Banning Alcohol Advertising Not a Silver Bullet, but an Important Element of Multi-Pronged Approach | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Banning Alcohol Advertising Not a Silver Bullet, but an Important Element of Multi-Pronged Approach

29 November 2010

Women and children are the most vulnerable groups in our society and therefore they need to be loved and protected, and not abused.

We all know that most murders and violence against women and children in our society is perpetrated by people they know.

According to research, 67% of domestic violence in the Western Cape is alcohol related.

The impact of alcohol and other drugs on levels of violence against women and children is well documented.

What remains now is that the data at our disposal must be used to create a society where women and children can feel safe.

The social development of our society can only become a reality if we take on the terrible twins of alcohol and drug abuse.

Only then will we be able to truly rebuild the social fabric of our society.

There is no way that the Western Cape government can do it alone.

We need the help of our communities and civil society so that we can take collective responsibility for this scourge in our society.

For our part, government must create the legislative means to achieve an environment that can stop substance abuse.

We also need to educate women to use the existing Domestic Violence Act to assist them to deal with abusive partners.

The sad part is that in many instances where a woman receives a protection order against an abusive partner it is the same woman that forgives him when he promises that he will never do it again.

But we all know that he will do it again and again, posing a real risk to her life and very often the lives of her children too.

We certainly welcome the finalisation of the Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill, which I hope will make our women and children a little bit safer.

Alcohol advertising has a destructive effect in our communities.

International studies show that alcohol advertising influences the intentions of the youth to drink.

A 2004 study by the HSRC in a rural community found that 68% of women and 62% of men believed that alcohol advertising should be stopped.

I think it is time that we conduct research in the Western Cape on the effects of alcohol advertising, with the goal of levelling the playing fields.

Government is spending billions trying to deal with the negative impacts of alcohol on our society and it is about time that the liquor industry begins to take responsibility.

Banning advertising is not going to be a silver bullet, but responsible stakeholders agree it is an important element in what must be a multi-pronged approach.

I thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Steven Otter
Cell: 084 233 3811