Govt. plans to ban alcohol ads

Govt. will go ahead with its plan to ban alcohol advertising.

Alcohol.

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Chamber of Commerce believes curbing alcohol advertisements won't deter people from consuming copious amounts.

Government is going ahead with its planned ban on alcohol advertising and marketing.

A draft bill on the ban will be submitted to cabinet before the end of the year.

The chamber's Micheal Bagraim said, "Our belief is that this will make it a lot cheaper for the marketing companies and possibly provide cheaper drinks for those who abuse liquor. We think that the industry will suffer because they are not going to get any of the profits offered from the advertising.

"We believe that the social problem stemming from alcohol abuse will not be reduced in any way, if they cut the advertising."

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in February this year he would not back down from attempts to completely ban alcohol advertising.

He said that the banning of tobacco advertising has helped reduced the number of smokers and the same could be achieved with alcohol.

Motsoaledi assured he would not settle for anything less than a complete ban.

According to Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, alcohol abuse costs the economy R9 billion a year.

The effects of alcohol abuse on the economy could be seen in absenteeism, poor productivity, high job turnover, interpersonal conflict, injuries and damage to property.

Meanwhile, South Africa has the highest cases of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

The effects of FAS are permanent and irreversible.

Western Cape is the most affected province and government has launched programmes to educate women about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.