THE level of alcohol abuse in South Africa was not acceptable, SA Breweries said yesterday.
As a result the company had developed strategies to address this problem which had a "disproportionately" negative impact on South African society, said SAB chairperson Norman Adami.
Adami said the programmes would focus on drinking and driving, foetal alcohol syndrome and underage drinking.
"A small percentage of South Africans abuse alcohol and we view this as unacceptable. If something is not good for South Africa, then it is ultimately not good for our business.
"These programmes are based on a thorough review that indicated the need for targeted actions which go beyond communications and education," said Adami.
During Transport month in October, SAB in conjunction with local and provincial law enforcement will launch the first of a number of Alcohol Evidence Centres with equipment and facilities to assist in enforcement and prosecution of drunk drivers.
Adami said awareness on drink driving issues would also be in the form of advertising campaigns.
October would also feature a series of educational and prevention initiatives by an NGO aimed at addressing FAS issues in the Western and Northern Cape, considered as problem areas.
"A new commercial code of good practice for working with trade partners and customers has also been launched, which will aim to drive more responsible trading practices (for example, not selling to minors).
"Significant attention has also gone to the company's marketing practices which, working alongside existing initiatives, will include a new commitment to remove billboard advertising from areas of high abuse," Adami said.
He said although the company was "unashamedly proud" of the fact that its business had a tangible economic impact on the South African economy and contribution onto the fiscus, it was concerned at the way in which alcohol was being abused.
In formulating its strategy, the SAB also expressed a commitment to championing co-regulation and normalisation of the liquor industry. - Sapa