Although the liquor industry has welcomed the lift of the ban on the sale of alcohol, women and child rights organisations and activist groups have raised concerns.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lift of the ban on alcohol sales, allowing for household consumption, starting from June 1.
Activists said this might trigger gender-based violence and exacerbate the number of cases reported. South African co-ordinator and activist of Philisa Abafazi Bethu, Lucinda Evans, questioned the consultative process undertaken by the president.
“The president did not consult the NGOs that pick up the broken pieces of family lives. He did not consult the women in shelters who fled their homes because of violence caused by alcohol, or the children that have been living peacefully since the ban of alcohol. Evans said she would be watching the gender-based violence statistics reported that involved alcohol. She pleaded with lobby groups and activists to help take the matter to court.
Fisani Mahlangu, from the National Shelter Movement, said it was concerned about the timing. Research indicates that alcohol use directly affects cognitive and physical functioning, reduces self-control, and leaves individuals less capable of negotiating a non-violent resolution to conflict within relationships.
“Moreover, excessive drinking by one partner can increase financial difficulties in households, especially during such a time when the world is facing a pandemic and incomes are severely affected,” she said. Do you have something on your mind; or want to comment on the big stories of the day? We would love to hear from you.
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