The Provincial Government is making a clarion call on all community members to make responsible drinking their priority because many innocent lives have been destroyed by the impetuous acts of a few.
The Northern Cape Provincial Government has urged communities in the Province to take a stand against alcohol abuse.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Premier on Wednesday, it was pointed out that the protocols of social distancing, sanitising as well as wearing a mask at all times when in public, were what had kept most of the communities in the Province safe.
“We are seeing a positive change with the case numbers (of Covid-19) remaining steady while recoveries increase. This means that the economy could be opened up to allow more industries to operate.
“The lifting of the ban on alcohol and tobacco product sales announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa is one such example of a re-opened industry.”
The statement went on to say, however, that it was concerning that reports of alcohol abuse, recklessness, vehicle crashes and fatalities on the roads had increased following the unbanning of alcohol.
“The Provincial Government is making a clarion call on all community members to make responsible drinking their priority because many innocent lives have been destroyed by the impetuous acts of a few.
“Alcohol abuse is very often the precursor to gender-based violence and contact crimes such as murder, sexual offences and assault, among others.
“The fight against these societal ills starts with our sober-minded decision to be responsible citizens who work together with government and law enforcement agencies.”
Residents were reminded that according to the Disaster Management Act, the country was still under lockdown although restrictions had moved down to level 2.
“Mass gatherings are still prohibited and liquor outlet owners must work with law enforcement to ensure compliance. The South African Police Service is mandated to bring all culprits who break the regulations to book and enforce the strong arm of the law on them.”
According to the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s traffic department, there had been no drastic change in the behaviour of motorists last weekend following the lifting of the alcohol ban earlier this month.
Municipal spokesperson, Thoko Riet, pointed out that this was probably attributable to the fact that the ban was lifted in the middle of the month.
“There were no incidents of drunk driving recorded and the accident rate in the city over the weekend was also normal. These statistics, however, might change when it is a month-end weekend.”