The IFP calls on government as well as the private sector and communities to embark on a multifaceted effort to prevent underage drinking and its adverse consequences following the deaths of eight young women at a tavern in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
“Scaffolding the nation’s youth is the responsibility of all people in all of the social systems in which adolescents operate. When all the social systems work together towards the common goal of preventing and reducing underage drinking, they create a powerful synergy that is critical to the realisation of this objective. The healthy development of South Africa’s youth is a national goal that is threatened by underage alcohol consumption.
There is no other choice for us but to declare war against substance abuse,” said IFP National Chairperson, Mr Blessed Gwala,MPL.
“The IFP believes that government needs to have goals that will foster changes in South African society that facilitate healthy adolescence development and that help prevent underage drinking. There has to be additional research on adolescence alcohol use and we need to improve public health surveillance on underage drinking and on population-based risk factors for this behaviour. We must ensure that policies at all levels are consistent with the national goal of preventing or reducing underage alcohol consumption,” continued Mr Gwala.
“We demand that there must be the enforcement of minimum drinking age laws and other measures that directly reduce alcohol availability to underage people. Enforcement should target underage drinkers, merchants who sell alcohol to youth, and people who provide alcohol to youth. Adults must be held accountable for underage drinking at house parties, even when those adults are not at home,” concluded Mr Gwala.
The IFP would like to send its deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.
Issued by: IFP National Chairperson, Mr Blessed Gwala, 078 290 5842
Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP Media Officer, 073 024 5675