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Alcohol ban won't be lifted without tougher regulatory measures, says SAMRC prof

30 July 2020 2:24 PM
Tags:
Alcohol ban
SAMRC
Prof
Charles Parry
South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

The SAMRC's Professor Charles Parry says it's highly unlikely that the government will lift the booze ban without a plan to combat alcohol abuse in SA.

On Wednesday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told Parliament that the government will regularly reevaluate the alcohol ban.

President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended the sale and distribution of alcohol nearly three weeks ago.

RELATED: 'Effect of alcohol ban on trauma cases won't be as significant this time around'

It's understood that his decision was informed by a report submitted by medical experts at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

The SAMRC's Professor Charles Parry says researchers advised the government to consider a range of options, including stricter measures to curb alcohol abuse.

The professor says the unbanning of alcohol must be coupled with tougher regulations and enforcement.

RELATED: Interest groups propose 5 urgent measures to curb alcohol abuse in SA

He proposes that the legal limit for drinking and driving be reduced to a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or below.

He also suggests that the availability of alcohol is reduced, by shortening trading hours and banning the sale of alcohol in larger containers like 1 litre bottles of beer.

According to Parry, the decision to lift the ban will be dependant on several factors, including the rate of Covid-19 infections and the status of hospital capacity around the country.

He adds that the government will have to implement a stringent plan to ensure that a surge in alcohol-related trauma is prevented.

We're not going to see business as usual. It's not going to be an opening up and without a tougher regulatory environment.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

We'd like to see the government moving ahead with dropping the maximum blood-alcohol levels to 0.2, things around container sizes, limiting quantities, and selling days as well in the next phase.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

It will also depend on the government coming up with an implantable plan to ensure that we don't revert to those negative consequences... when alcohol sales opened up on the 1st of June.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

I'm talking about the surge in drunk-driving fatalities, homicides, and other trauma requiring medical attention in hospitals.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report with Lester Kiewit:


30 July 2020 2:24 PM
Tags:
Alcohol ban
SAMRC
Prof
Charles Parry
South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

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