Picture: SOWETAN
Picture: SOWETAN

The manifest dishonesty of the zealots at the Department of Trade and Industry as they pursue their prohibitionist agenda should not go unchallenged (Alcohol adverts ban ‘will not banish thirst for booze’, April 3).

Your correspondent quotes them as saying that their intervention is necessary "since SA is among the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world". This "false news" is not borne out by the facts.

SA appears in 30th position on the World Health Organisation’s table (which includes a provision for unrecorded consumption) behind most western European nations including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark.

The department is manufacturing a crisis so as to mete out ever more repressive laws, instead of properly policing what is already in place.

The claim that restrictions on liquor advertising and raising the legal drinking age to 21 will tackle social problems such as the incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome is equally preposterous.

The pregnant mothers-to-be living in poverty and drowning their sorrows in booze are not queueing outside licensed outlets but are buying unbranded, illicitly fermented ales and will continue to do so long after the department has wrecked the industry and its legitimate trade.

Michael Fridjhon
Via e-mail