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Friday, December 16, 2011

“We have to be robust in reducing harm caused by alcohol"

Alcohol-related problems are on the political agenda in South Africa, following a declaration of intent by the government to ban advertising on alcohol. South Africa has a relatively high level of alcohol consumption; 9.5 liters per capita 15 years and above according to the most recent WHO data. The African average is 6.2 liters. South Africa also has a substantial segment of the population with risky drinking patterns. Alcohol-related violence, the spread of HIV/AIDS and a sky-high prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are three areas of alcohol-related harm typical for South Africa.

The alcohol and advertising industries have recently circulated a petition aimed at pressuring government to abandon its intended ban on advertising alcohol. This is one of many initiatives by the industry to push the South African government to refrain from alcohol regulations and rather focus on underlying factors driving alcohol abuse and place resources in public information and education. In an article in The Sunday Independent the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, comes out very strongly against the industry approach to alcohol prevention. > > > > Read More