Is legalising the sale of alcohol in South Africa’s schools a good idea? Cape Town's ANC has recently slammed the DA’s plans to sell alcohol within schools.
South Africa's DA (Democratic Alliance) the principle governing body, have pushed for a bill to be passed allowing alcohol to be sold in schools in Cape Town. They say that selling alcohol in schools will enable schools to benefit from hiring out halls and rooms for the purposes of functions where alcohol will be sold.
The ANC (African National Congress) feels that this is sending a passive, negative message to children of school age and have thus slammed the DA’s plans.
Cameron Dugmore, ANC Western Cape, has stated:
What communities are saying very clearly is we have a huge problem in this province. We have foetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence linked to alcohol abuse.
So there was an absolute rejection, in fact, there was a call in the Oudtshoorn meeting on Tuesday to have this bill withdrawn... I think we are joined by the vast majority of people in our province who are saying this is madness, it's dangerous and it should be immediately withdrawn.
The Western Cape Education Department have defended their plans for alcohol to be legalised in schools by insisting that it would be for “function purposes only”. They further went on to say:
If alcohol is allowed, there is the other scenario where people may wish to rent out their halls at schools for events such as birthday parties in communities and that can assist the school to get their infrastructure approved.
How Would Schools Selling Alcohol Affect the Community?
Sober Services feel that this debate is an ethical debate regarding the message being portrayed to youngsters about alcohol, versus monetary gain. Most alcoholics and heavy drinkers discover their first taste for alcohol during their teenage years whilst still at school.
Yes, the monetary gain from selling alcohol at school functions could indeed benefit the school but do they really want to be associated with raising money in this way?
South Africa has many exceptional alcohol rehabs including a young persons rehab and teenage rehab that we work with; they have already had to step up and meet the demands and needs of those suffering from alcoholism and seeking private alcohol rehab and alcohol detox.
Any message, no matter how passive, being sent to children of school age that alcohol is okay, is a bad message in our opinion. Yes we can educate children around safe drinking limits, but to associate their (children and teenagers) main source of education with alcohol becomes a question of morals and ethics.
The department of Social Development in South Africa - Central Drug Authority (CDA), an advisory body for prevention and treatment for the Substance Abuse Act, have released statistics that reflect the extent of the alcohol problem within South Africa.
An alarming 30 % of South Africa's population are considered problem drinkers. Furthermore, statistics revealed that 20% of 14 years old boys and 18% of 14 years old girls have used alcohol.
If you, a loved one or family member with an alcohol problem is in need of rehab or help, we have a wide range of professional services to offer. Please do not hesitate to contact us to confidentially discuss your private alcohol treatment needs.
Early intervention with an alcohol problem can prevent full blown alcoholism from developing and save lives!
Sources and references
Treatment Advisory Service