Alcohol abuse in South Africa costs the economy R9 billion a year, according to the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe.
At the start of a Sobriety Week campaign in Pretoria, Thabethe said this amounted to one percent of the country’s gross domestic profit.
“According to the World Health Organisation, the annual liquor consumption by South Africans amounts to 7.81 litres of pure alcohol per person. This level of consumption ranks South Africa 52nd on a list of 191 countries,” her office said in a statement.
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According to the department, the industry contributes around R94.2 billion to the economy yet it also suffers due to irresponsible drinking and absenteeism, poor productivity, high job turnover, damage to property, injuries and illness.
Parents, communities and other stakeholders have been called to join the campaign against alcohol abuse.
"Our goal with this campaign is to bring to light that [liquor] licenses are not issued at the expense of consumers that choose not to drink," she said, calling on communities to make it their business to ensure that people are protected from irresponsible trading.
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