No to alcohol abuse

“If you drink alcohol and you abuse it,” says Charles Ngwenya, Chairman of ELTA, “it will surely kill you!

The Bulletin News
Charles Ngwenja (Chairman), Zandi Mlangeni (Treasurer), Rose Sithole (Coordinator) and Oscar Maute (Secretary) of the eMbalenhle Liquor Traders Association with the mural done by Department of Trade and Industry at Gogota tavern in eMbalenhle.

The eMbalenhle Liquor Traders Association (ELTA) and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) took hands to create awareness in eMbalenhle about alcohol abuse.
The first step was to place murals on the walls of 5 identified taverns in eMbalenhle. The tavern owners also bring the message of drinking responsibly and not overindulge in liquor.
“If you drink alcohol and you abuse it,” says Charles Ngwenya, Chairman of ELTA, “it will surely kill you! The message must be clear to everyone.”
Charles also said that alcohol abuse is not affecting the whole community but mostly a few individuals.
DTI started with an Alcohol Abuse Awareness program with these 5 taverns in eMbalenhle. Hopefully, it will be expanded to other towns. These taverns are the only ones in Mpumalanga.
The artwork is done by people within the rehab programs.
According to global statistics, South Africans are among the highest consumers of alcohol. Many have noted the obvious effects such as increased mortality related to road accidents, especially over the festive season. According to reports released by the World Health Organisation in 2012, approximately 6% of global deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption, and South Africa has been noted as the country worst affected by drunk driving in the world. Alcohol abuse in South Africa is also eroding our economy in countless direct and indirect ways and can be likened to the grim reaper, here to take the soul of the country in the dead of night, encouraged by each nonchalant alcoholic gulp.
Despite punitive measures by the government such as ensuring drunk drivers get criminal charges, the source of alcoholism is not being tackled — only the consequences are being dealt with. Fortunately, some groups have tried to bring attention to the problem. As far back as 2008, the ANCYL spoke up about alcohol abuse in South Africa and recommended alcohol-free stadiums, especially with the 2010 World Cup looming. There have also been debates as to whether alcohol consumption during pregnancy should be criminalised.
South Africa is one of the top five economies in Africa, and with Africa having been recognised as the top emerging market in the world by projected population growth, many multinationals are adopting a pan-African approach and headquartering on the continent. The challenge around this is that, if the African workforce is not adequately equipped to take advantage of these opportunities, it will remain a continent characterised by poverty.
Many are unaware of the costs associated with alcohol abuse, and these include costs around drunk driving and the healthcare costs for families, as over-consumption of alcohol causes liver damage, kidney damage and brain damage. Many suicides and homicides are related to alcohol abuse, and businesses may incur costs due to alcohol abuse too. By law, employers have been mandated to assist employees in the workplace if they admit to alcohol abuse; the costs around the time and management of this process are apparent.
Companies that produce alcohol in South Africa have also joined the alcohol responsibility advocacy and are running campaigns around responsible alcohol consumption. Another hope for a decrease in deaths related to alcohol consumption in South Africa is the rise of companies such as Uber, which allow people to get home safely after a night of heavy drinking. At this stage, one thing is glaringly apparent — it is time to treat the causes, not just the symptoms
-Encee van Huyssteen
-Excerpts from Mail&Guardian, Kealeboga Mokolobate.


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