JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued a stern warning on alcohol-related incidents.
The president says several international and domestic studies show clear linkages between alcohol abuse and gender-based violence.
Over 21 women and children have died violently in recent weeks.
Ramaphosa says a war is being waged against women and children in South Africa.
He says rapists and killers walk among us and have no regard for the sanctity of life.
“Of course, it is not alcohol that rapes or kills a woman or a child,” Ramaphosa said.
“Rather, it is the actions of violent men but if alcohol intoxication is contributing to these crimes, then it must be addressed with urgency.
“We need to draw the lessons from this lockdown and decide how we can protect our society from the abuse of alcohol.
“Certainly, we need to provide greater support to people with drinking problems, including through rehabilitation and treatment.”
The president says responsible drinking needs to be encouraged especially among the youth.
Ramaphosa also issued a strong rebuke to liquor outlets.
“We need to be tough on liquor outlets that violate the terms of their licenses and who sell alcohol to those under-age,” he said.
“But we will also need to look at further, more drastic measures to curb the abuse of alcohol. Ultimately, the success of our fight to end gender-based violence will require the involvement and support of our entire society.”