Liquor authority educates communities

Dylan Williams, Shaleen Dullisear and Elroy Smaase listening to Nwabisa Mpalala, assistant director in communications, education and stakeholder relations at the WCLA, with designated liquor officer at Mitchells Plain SAPS Sergeant Marco van Neel.

The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) held an awareness campaign with the theme “be conscious”, in Tafelsig, on Friday May 5.

The door-to-door campaign was done in collaboration with Mitchell’s Plain police.

The WCLA is a body that regulates the retail sale and micro-manufacturing of liquor in the province.

They do this by educating new licence holders and promoting the responsible use of liquor.

Nwabisa Mpalala, assistant director for communications, education and stakeholder relations at the WCLA, said it was the first time they were running a campaign of this nature in Mitchell’s Plain, to encourage people to be more responsible when drinking and inform them of the dangers associated with alcohol abuse.

“Over the years we have seen an increase in criminal activity due to alcohol abuse. What you find is that when people are intoxicated, they become vulnerable and are being taken advantage of,” she said.

Ms Mpalala said the organisation usually did school and community education sessions around liquor and that they work closely with Mitchell’s Plain SAPS to ensure that businesses complied with the relevant by-laws.

“We make sure that the businesses understand what their trading hours are and what the consequences are if they fail to comply.

“We also inform them about their licence conditions. And, if they are trading outside their respective trading hours, they will be fined,” she said.

The designated liquor officer at Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, Sergeant Marco van Neel, said there were illegal shebeens selling alcohol to minors, pregnant women and to people who were already intoxicated.

“This is a huge concern and we are encouraging people to report these shebeens. We often get reports of crimes related to alcohol abuse. This includes common assaults, grievous bodily harm and domestic violence,” he said.

Tafelsig resident Cleo Hamdulay said it was a great initiative as alcohol abuse was commonplace in the area. “This is what is needed in our area. We often see how parents drink and then neglect their children. People also get violent when they are intoxicated, and harm others. So, more of these sessions are needed in our areas.”