Department of Trade and Industry
11 September 2019
The trade and industry department has called on the liquor industry to strengthen awareness on the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant and alcohol abuse.
The department made the call at the International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day and launch of the Sobriety Campaign Week in Potchefstroom.
The deputy minister of trade and industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, exhorted the liquor industry, comprising liquor manufacturers, distributors and retailers, to participate in consumer education.
“The industry cannot afford to tip-toe around this scourge. Alcohol is costing this country severely in economic terms as the state budget is running road campaigns, hospital costs of the injured and Road Accident Fund claims. Let us regard alcohol consumption levels in this country as problematic and as a national problem that requires concomitant interventions,” she said.
The dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant were also highlighted.
The deputy minister said that “women must protect their children before they are born and not condemn them by drinking alcohol while pregnant, as they will not have similar opportunities compared to other normal kids”.
Meanwhile, the deputy minister of trade and industry, Fikile Majola, assured a recent meeting of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape that government was doing a lot of work to boost the local economy.
“Among other things, we are currently visiting all provinces to look at industrial parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to assess if they are working as they should and where there is a need we will revitalize them,” he said.
Small business operators were also urged to expand their business interests.
“We need to diversify the economy so we do not fight over tenders. As government, we know that in order to achieve this we need to support you with critical forms of support and training. But we should all be working towards the goal of ensuring maximum growth and success of our businesses.”