The 64-second clip, with the hashtag #BoozeFreeRoads, was filmed in Hanover Park and features a group of “gangsters” drinking quarts of beer and playing dominoes.
The gangsters have their guns on the table.
The gang gets a heads-up from one of their members.
The men then stand up, cock their guns and jump into an old Toyota Corolla, but no one takes the driver’s seat.
The main man in the front passenger seat says: “Ouens, wie gaan die kar ry? Ek is dronk, man.” (Who is going to drive the car? I am drunk, man.)
The crew starts arguing and one guy then says: "My broe, deesdae is die boere op en af. Ek wil nie in daai pypie blaas nie, my broe, man.” (My brother, these days the cops are everywhere. I don't want to be breathalysed.)
The man in front then suggests: “Lat ons ‘n taxi vat.” (Let's just call a taxi.)
Cape Flats activist Emile YX says the video is an insult to coloured people.
“This is a huge insult to Capetonians at large. I don’t know what their brief must have been,” he says.
“People continue to bring us down. They keep on rubbing the gangs and gangsterism onto our people. If they want change, change the mentality of people. If they keep funding negative images, they will keep on receiving a negative outcome.”
The campaign video was launched last month as an Easter message for road users.
Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for the Minister of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, Donald Grant, says they don’t see anything wrong with the advertisement as the ad carries a very important message: alcohol and roads don’t mix.
“The television advertisement is part of the Safely Home calendar’s #BoozeFreeRoads theme, and the message is ‘Alcohol and Roads Don’t Mix’,” says Dube.
The original creative concept was tested in 2016 with the core target audience (coloured males aged 19-39) through focus groups.
“The response to the concept was extremely positive. The commercial points out that even the most irresponsible and criminal elements in our society, gangsters, should think twice about taking to the road after drinking.”
Dube says the filming of the advertisement was welcomed by residents from Hanover Park.
“The ad was filmed in co-operation and with the support of the community of Hanall Walk, Hanover Park, in March this year,” he adds.
“In order to be 100% authentic and to avoid the possibility of positive portrayals of gangsters by using actors or models, the cast was selected through street auditions. The dialogue in the ad is unscripted, and is thus 100% authentic – the cast were given free rein.
“As can be seen from actually watching the commercial, the gangsters are presented as completely unattractive, poorly dressed, wild-eyed, uncouth and driving an old, beat-up car."
“Because gangsters are often portrayed in smart clothes with flashy cars, bling sunglasses and so on, it is especially important that we portray them as they actually are.”