Monitor your children's exposure to alcohol: KZN Liquor Authority

23 July 2023 - 13:06 By MFUNDO MKHIZE
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One of the challenges the programme aims to address is teenage pregnancy.
One of the challenges the programme aims to address is teenage pregnancy.
Image: Esa Alexander

The KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority has urged parents to monitor their children's exposure to alcohol.

The authority's board visited Vikingozi secondary school this past week where it emphasised the importance of education to pupils.

“It is of utmost importance to make informed choices that positively shape your future. While the allure of experimenting with alcohol may be tempting, it is crucial to fully comprehend the risks involved,” said board chairperson Mbali Myeni.

The school, in KwaMakhutha,  south of Durban, which has more than 600 pupils, had been earmarked as a beneficiary of the school visit programme by the board owing to socioeconomic challenges such as teenage pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse, and abject poverty.

The authority's acting CEO Bheki Mbanjwa said the initiative was geared towards collaborating closely with pupils, school, staff, key stakeholders and the community to promote a responsible and sustainable liquor industry that fosters social responsibility.

The programme, “Children with a future do not drink”, provides support education and awareness to the underprivileged, specifically addressing challenges such as teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. Its goal is to shape the future of pupils, said Mbanjwa.

The board donated 34 uniforms and school shoes to underprivileged pupils.

The KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Licensing Act places importance on the authority's duty to implement measures aimed at reducing the socioeconomic and other effects of alcohol abuse.

Myeni also condemned the widespread practice of “pens down” parties where pupils often commemorate the end of exams by overindulging in alcohol. The culture has been cited as possibly having played a role in the Enyobeni tavern tragedy in which 21 underage children died.

“I implore you to reflect upon the long-term effects and the potential harm that alcohol abuse can inflict. Instead, redirect your focus towards your goals, aspirations and the construction of a vibrant future,” said Myeni.

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