Debate on The Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill
Honourable Speaker, this debate on the Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill represents a momentous occasion for our province.
The Bill speaks to the need for intense community participation, whereby communities have a real say in how many liquor outlets they allow in their streets.
Honourable Speaker, to those that claim that the closing down of illegal shebeens will lead to massive job losses, I want to say that we have to choose between the women and children we need to protect and the people making money off their misery.
It is extremely appropriate that we are voting on this Bill during the 16-Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.
The Western Cape is saturated in alcohol - it is the drinking capital of South Africa.
All the harms caused by alcohol, such as violence, child abuse, road accidents, mental illness and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, also have a negative impact on the social development of the Western Cape.
As long as our communities continue to be ravaged by alcohol and drug abuse, most of the money we spend on mitigating the harms they cause, will be wasted.
In a healthy society alcohol can be a complement to good company and good food.
But in a sick society like ours, where drinking very easily turns into binge drinking, beatings, child abuse and homicide, Government needs to intervene.
History has shown that when the poorer communities start to spend a major proportion of their income on alcohol, Government must have the political will to act.
This Liquor Amendment Bill represents our political will to act.
We owe this to our children.
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