Our Priorities: Responsible drinking
'Reality Check in South Africa'
South African Breweries Ltd
In 2009 SAB launched an innovative programme to tackle alcohol abuse in South Africa.
The new programme addresses drinking and driving, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and underage drinking – issues identified as needing targeted action beyond communication and education.
SAB has invested R6.5 million (over US$0.8 million) to set up five Alcohol Evidence Centres (AECs) across the country in conjunction with local and provincial law enforcement agencies.
Located in the major centres around the country, the AECs with their sophisticated equipment can accurately detect a driver's blood alcohol level from a single breath sample, and help to increase the prosecution rates of those arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Soweto AEC, opened in December 2009, tested 302 drivers who were suspected of drink-driving in its first month of operation and found 211 to be over the legal drink-drive limit. In Cape Town, 473 drivers were tested in January 2010 and 401 were found to be over the limit. The highest reading recorded was seven times the legal limit.
In addition to the AECs, SAB has launched a hard-hitting advertising campaign called Reality Check to raise awareness of the anti-social and life-threatening effects of drinking and driving.
The campaign supports a new commercial code of good practice for working with trade partners and consumers to encourage more responsible trading practices (not selling to minors, for example). This builds on SAB's commitment to remove billboard advertising from areas of high alcohol abuse.
The final strand of the campaign is to continue our existing work in partnership with the NGO, FASFacts, to address the issue of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in problem areas in the Western and Northern Cape.
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