The Western Cape Government has published its Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper, aimed at minimising alcohol consumption and reducing unnecessary harm to people.
“Alcohol causes more damage to our communities than we realise, and there is a lack of support to fix the damage caused,” the Western Cape Government said.
“Our existing laws and policies focus on the regulations of licensing, production, distribution and sale of alcohol, but do not address the impact and consequences of alcohol-related harms on society.”
According to the Green Paper, the manufacturing and retail of alcohol contributed R93.2 billion to the economy or 3.9% to GDP.
“This contribution is important, especially in the Western Cape, but the cost of alcohol-related harms outweighs the contribution,” it said.
The Green Paper suggests numerous interventions, including a national ban on alcohol advertising that is visible to anyone under the age of 18, and limited alcohol trading hours.
Among the focus areas of the paper is alcohol and the road environment, where it wants to reduce and even eliminate road deaths caused by alcohol use.
One of the suggested interventions is to introduce alcohol-detecting ignition interlocks (vehicle starting system breathalysers) to the vehicles of certain drivers.
This means that some high-risk drivers will not be able to start their vehicles without doing a built-in breathalyzer test first.
The paper further suggests better random breath testing, placing an alcohol limit on pedestrians, and stricter alcohol limit and zero tolerance licensing system for young or new drivers.
The Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper is open for public feedback and comment until 30 November 2016.