Recreation will stop crime

THE National Institute of Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders reports that nearly half of all male prisoners had consumed alcohol or drugs before committing a crime.

THE National Institute of Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders reports that nearly half of all male prisoners had consumed alcohol or drugs before committing a crime.

So I applaud the concern of the ANC Youth League about alcohol abuse. It is time for our government to promote better recreational norms, which should begin with infrastructural development in disadvantaged communities.

In any township you will find 10 decaying schools, one notorious hospital, one insignificant library, one rotten sports complex and at least 40 fully operational taverns. So it is not surprising that most alcohol abusers come from low-income localities.

To make matters worse local governments have generally failed to build or maintain recreational infrastructure. Due to the lack of these facilities the disadvantaged have turned to alcohol as their main form of entertainment.

An example is the Kagiso Stadium and sports complex under the Mogale City municipality. It was renovated in 1998 with facilities accommodating our major sporting codes. Now you can't differentiate it from a scrap yard.

Youths have little recreational activities to take part in and that is how the alcohol time bomb is detonated.

I've never seen a township school with grass soccer fields or an adequate netball court. So what do pupils do during their breaks or after school? They gamble, smoke and drink.

If positive recreation emerges in poor communities we will see a decrease in alcohol abuse. However, if recreational development and maintenance were soberness, local governments have failed this Breathalyzer test.

Tebogo Ditshego, Kagiso

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