After EC tavern tragedy, Ramaphosa wants conversation around underage drinking

In his weekly newsletter, the president has referred to the incident, which took place in East London over a week ago.

The Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park, East London where 21 people died during an event on 25 June 2022. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabaso/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that there needed to be a national conversation on underage drinking following the death of 21 teenagers at the Enyobeni Tavern.

In his weekly newsletter, the president has referred to the incident, which took place in East London over a week ago.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA: SA mourns the young lives lost in Enyobeni Tavern tragedy

The president said that the increased social acceptability of young people drinking alcohol had become a serious problem in a country where the majority of the drinking population were already classified by the World Health Organization as binge drinkers.

He said that alcohol use among young people was associated with impaired function, absenteeism from learning, alcohol-related injuries, suicidal thoughts and attempts, as well as risky behaviour.

Ramaphosa said that the country must come together to combat this problem, which was robbing young people of the best years of their lives.