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Alcohol and Substance Abuse: Work Begins on Drafting Policy Proposals

August 30, 2018

Department of Social Development

The inter-ministerial committee on alcohol and substance abuse has established a technical team to develop “detailed policy proposals and strategies” for addressing the issues concerned and their negative social impact.

According to social development minister Bathabile Dlamini, a range of recommendations will be tabled at a forthcoming stakeholder summit on drug and alcohol abuse.

These include:

· limitations on alcohol advertising in respect of time, location and content;
· harmonising existing liquor legislation;
· a review of liquor license fees;
· monitoring compliance with licensing conditions;
· linking license renewals to legislation compliance;
· exploring the possibility of raising the age of consumption and trade in alcohol from 18 years to 21 years;
· strengthening the capacity of the inspectorate; and
· enhancing current measures to deal with public drinking and drunk driving.

In a media statement following a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee, the minister said that the objective of the summit is to build national consensus on measures to tackle the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse in South Africa.

“The summit will come up with a set of resolutions to be adopted, and they will inform a five year programme of action in dealing with the issue of alcohol and substance abuse,” she continued.

According to the minister, a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) global status report on alcohol and health shows that South Africa is “one of the leading countries in alcohol abuse disorders”. Research findings on South Africa’s burden of disease and disability indicate that alcohol abuse ranks third after unsafe sex and interpersonal violence.