Trauma units filling up as violence, road deaths surge along with booze sales in Gauteng

Gender-based violence is still a headache, especially with alcohol allowed to be sold under lockdown, says Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.
Gender-based violence is still a headache, especially with alcohol allowed to be sold under lockdown, says Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.
Image: Alon Skuy

The easing of the ban on alcohol sales during the lockdown has seen an increase in deadly road accidents, violence and abuse putting added strain on trauma units across Gauteng.

Community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said on Friday that on the day the ban was relaxed - Monday - there was a jump in cases of gender-based violence.

On Monday there were 124 reported or identified cases of common assault, 76 cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBV) and 17 sexual offences committed in the province.

“Gauteng people are violent and beat each other up."

Mazibuko said there were 18 road deaths on Monday as a direct result of drunkenness.

“We must warn our young people that when we say don’t drink and drive, we mean it. The president indicated you must buy your alcohol and drink alone. We are discouraging people from tears at funerals,” Mazibuko said.

The MEC was answering questions during a weekly update by the provincial Covid-19 command council led by premier David Makhura.

Health MEC Bandile Masuku said the resumption of alcohol trade was putting a strain on the health system.

“It is of great concern [people drinking]. There’s nothing positive that emanates from alcohol. We have seen an upsurge in numbers in our trauma units since alcohol sales were allowed. Trauma and gender-based violence have increased.

“We are generally worried about the mines opening,” Masuku said.

The department said it was saddened that 205 health-care workers in Gauteng had Covid-19.


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