Police Minister Bheki Cele has emphasised the importance of combating alcohol abuse as a significant contributor to crime in South Africa.
During a media briefing on Christmas Eve, Cele expressed concern over the number of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol during the festive season, which has already resulted in numerous fatalities on the country’s busiest roads.
While acknowledging that the festive season is a time for enjoyment and festivities, Cele finds it alarming that some individuals still choose to drink and drive. Since October 15, the police have arrested over 4,400 drunk drivers.
Additionally, in the first 22 days of December, more than 2,500 people have been arrested for public drinking, and 850 individuals were apprehended for being drunk and disorderly in public places.
Cele firmly believes that alcohol abuse plays a significant role in the country’s violence and crime rates, particularly contact crimes. As a result, law enforcement is taking strict action against the abuse of liquor.
The minister issued a stern warning to unlicensed liquor outlet owners who continue to sell alcohol illegally, stating that their establishments will be shut down and the liquor will be confiscated. Furthermore, the owners themselves will face arrest.
To ensure compliance, over 6,400 fines have been issued to liquor outlets that fail to meet the necessary regulations.
In conclusion, the South African Police are prioritising the fight against alcohol abuse as a means to address crime in the country. By implementing rigorous measures, including the arrest of drunk drivers and individuals engaged in public drinking, as well as cracking down on illegal liquor outlets, law enforcement aims to create a safer environment for all citizens.