There is no denying that alcohol abuse affects society. The South African Liquor Brand Owners Association, which represents alcohol suppliers, is intensely aware of this and the necessity to act. In the same way that motor vehicles are harmless or harmful depending on how they are used, we recognise that our products have the potential to cause harm to society if abused. It wouldn’t be in the interests of the liquor industry for abuse to continue unchecked or for the industry to be stifled in its work to check that abuse. That is why we are driving efforts to team up with the government and other interested parties to develop a national plan to tackle the harm associated with alcohol abuse. Our immediate focus is on the efficacy of the proposed Liquor Amendment Bill. Investment in harm reduction programmes is minimal. The National Liquor Authority has an annual budget of about R5m for education and awareness and at provincial level, budgets are even smaller. The Association for Resp...

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