Whatever your answer, the available research paints a horrifying picture:
More than half of the victims of non-fatal and fatal violence test positive for alcohol in urban areas. Most violence-related deaths occur on Saturdays and Sundays, when binge drinking is common. Binge drinking is defined as having 5 or more drinks in a day. Alcohol is involved in nearly half of the cases of family violence.
Soul City is launching the Phuza Wize campaign to address the significant link between alcohol, violence and risky behaviour in South Africa.
Resources for journalists
Phuza Wize kicked off with two round tables open to all interested parties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal:
Monday 1 March at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown, Durban:
Wednesday 3 March at Sedibeng Shebeen in Meadowlands, Soweto
How violent are our drinking habits?
South Africans consume over 5 billion litres of alcoholic beverages per year according to a report by the Cape Town based Medical Research Council (MRC). This amounts to 120 litres per capita per year. Taking into account that many South Africans do not drink at all, the alcohol consumption of those who do is amongst the highest in the world.
As research has shown a significant link between alcohol, violence and risky behaviour, the Soul City Institute, renowned for its campaigns to create positive social change, has embarked on a campaign aimed at curbing violence and HIV infections by reducing alcohol consumption and promoting safe drinking places.
Soul City has hired respected media consultancy frayintermedia to create greater public awareness for the campaign, its goals and issues through the media. The campaign, which begins in March in tandem with the launch of the TV drama Soul City 10 on SABC2, is part of a five-year programme to reduce access to alcohol and thus curb incidences of violence and risky behaviour in South Africa.
Some of the main aims of the campaign are to:
- Reduce and restrict access to alcohol.
- Promote the creation, accreditation and monitoring of safe drinking spaces.
- Promote the creation of alcohol-free zones, such as primary and high schools.
- Promote legislative and ethical compliance by liquor traders.
- Increase community knowledge on the harmful effects of alcohol and its contribution to violent behaviour and HIV infection.
The role of the media will be critical if the campaign is to reach as many South Africans as possible through newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. The response by the media has been excellent so far, with several leading companies giving support to this important initiative and others set to join soon.
For the media
Soul City will offer its media partners several services to ensure informed reporting and discussion of the campaign messages:
- Two Media Round Tables were hosted, one in Durban on March 1 and the other in Johannesburg on March 3, at which experts briefed invited journalists and lead discussion of the campaign along with local celebrities and shebeen owners.
- A resource kit for journalists, to be distributed as a PDF, including briefing documents, research and story ideas.
- A monthly PDF newsletter (March to June) focusing on topics related to the campaign.
- A news and feature service which will provide selected media outlets with stories written by leading journalists.
Help us to change South Africa for the better by getting on board
To RSVP to this event email Samkele Nkabinde of frayintermedia on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 011 341 0767