Alcohol industry appoints community patrollers, commits to fight gender-based violence in and around taverns
Pretoria - The South African Liquor Industry and Community Policing Forums in four provinces are set to force tavern owners and other liquor outlets to comply with the new regulations governing the sale of liquor by appointing community patrollers.
This was revealed by Liquor Industry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi, who said they were committed to working with stakeholders to bolster existing compliance practices and introduce new ones.
Mngadi said they have also launched several harm-reduction initiatives to reduce incidents of gender-based violence (GBV).
One of these is Project Mpipa, which is currently underway in targeted hotspot areas in four provinces.
Project Mpipa aims to assist CPFs to step up their compliance monitoring and reduce the incidents of alcohol-related GBV.
“This was one of many initiatives pursued by the sector as part of the social compact being forged among all stakeholders to bring about a change in our approach to drinking behaviour,” Mngadi said.
In the Western Cape, the targeted areas are Delft, Nyanga, and Mitchells Plain, while in the Eastern Cape they will target Mthatha and Lusikisiki and in KwaZulu-Natal they will target Inanda and Umlazi.
In Gauteng they will target Orange Farm and Dobsonville.
So far, 40 community patrollers — affiliated with the relevant hotspot CPF — have been engaged.
Their task is to see that Covid-19 protocols are followed, including social distancing plans, wearing facemasks, availability and use of hand sanitizers, and general good hygiene on the premises.
The patrollers formerly undertook similar duties voluntarily but will now be compensated for their efforts.
The patrollers are equipped with reflector jackets, face masks, and mobile phones loaded with data.
Working with the tavern-owners, the CPF patrollers will be responsible for seeing that opening hours from Monday to Thursday are strictly adhered to.
The patrollers will also assist in preventing the sale of liquor to persons under 18 years of age, to pregnant women, and to people who are intoxicated.
Mngadi said the oversight will extend to actively promoting no drink driving and where possible, preventing this from occurring.
“They will also work to ensure the safety of intoxicated pedestrians, see that disorderly noise and other disturbances are controlled, and report on whether or not alcohol promotions on display are responsible.
“A significant element of their work will include ensuring women are safe, such as escorting them home, and in some cases, paying random visits to the homes of victims of GBV to check on the occupants' safety,” Mngadi said.
National Community Police Board Public Relations Officer TJ Masilela said: "We know that taverns can play a key role in community projects. The owners and the community welcome Project Mpipa because it is dealing directly with informing their customers about GBV and helping to prevent it. GBV and domestic violence is madness. Let's stop the madness, now."