Impoverished E Cape guzzles 900m litres of booze a year

In a major crackdown on alcohol abuse, liquor outlet owners in the Eastern Cape who sell booze to drunks could be held liable if the drunks cause harm to others, Dispatch Online reported yesterday.

In a major crackdown on alcohol abuse, liquor outlet owners in the Eastern Cape who sell booze to drunks could be held liable if the drunks cause harm to others, Dispatch Online reported yesterday.

And binging boozers face being monitored when they are out on the town - they could be banned from the province's pubs and taverns.

These tough new recommendations, made to the provincial liquor board, are aimed at curbing the abuse of alcohol in the province.

They were made following the completion of a study of the socioeconomic affect of the liquor industry in the Eastern Cape commissioned by the provincial liquor board last year.

Researchers found that, contrary to the belief that the impoverished Eastern Cape consumes far less than national averages, consumption was in line with national figures.

A "staggering" 900million litres of alcohol are sold in the province each year. This translates to every adult gulping down over 220litres of liquor a year, compared to the national average of 200litres.

When the report was compiled last year, 25244 liquor outlets - only 16percent of them with permanent licences - were operating in the Eastern Cape.

The report recommends limiting the number of liquor outlets and cutting down on the hours and days that alcohol can be sold. - Sapa

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