Johannesburg - The SA Breweries (SAB) and the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) handed over seven Gauteng-based mobile Alcohol Evidence Centre (AEC) in Dube, Soweto, on Friday.
The handover of the seven Mobile AECs at Dube Vocational Centre in Soweto falls in line with SAB Sharp, a responsible consumption platform from where SAB can direct its efforts to create a more responsible drinking culture in South Africa.
With the mobile AECs, the authorities will be assisted in their fight against drunk drivers across the province with the ability to move around to multiple hotspot zones.
SAB’s director of stakeholder and Government, Mduduzi Lokotfwako, says more interventions are needed to ensure SA roads are safe.
“Together with JMPD, SAB believes more interventions need to take place to make South Africa’s roads safer. Our mission is to partner with traffic law enforcement partners in trying to combat road fatalities. This has been made possible through interventions such as the Mobile AECs,” he says.
According to Lokotfwako, this AEC handover falls in line with SAB’s broader responsible drinking goals, which is a set of programmes and initiatives focused on shifting social norms, consumer behaviours, and business practices.
Developed alongside public health officials, these goals reflect their belief in evidence-based solutions and that independent, rigorous and transparent measurement and evaluation are key to progress.
Since the start of the initiative over a decade ago, AECs have become essential in assisting law enforcement to test suspected drunk drivers and confirming their breath limit using Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing (EBAT) and registered medical practitioners.
The AECs are all fully equipped to also ensure that the evidence is properly collected and admissible in court.
JMPD Acting Chief of Police Thulani Khanyile said: “Our aim is to also ensure that road fatalities are reduced in the City of Johannesburg. Just as much as we want successful prosecution of the offenders. It's also important to note that we are about to enter the festive season, where we see increased incidences of drunken driving and a spike in road fatalities, so the opening of the AEC and the handover of the mobile AEC comes at a perfect time when we can address these issues.”
He added that their goals was to partner with all relevant parties to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol.
“Our goals are also designed to be collaborative and evolving. Working in partnership with public health bodies, civil society, and governments, we aim to implement evidence-based approaches, uncover new ways to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and act upon them. The AECs are an incredible testament to this approach and prove that it is working,” concludes Lokotfwako.
With 10 brick-and-mortar AECs already handed over to various South African municipalities across the country, these centres make South Africa’s roads safer by empowering authorities to enforce regulations with world-class infrastructure and technology to help process drunk arrests.