CAPE TOWN – The ANC in the Western Cape has condemned the DA’s plan to sell alcohol at schools.
The party says it will worsen an already dire alcohol abuse situation in the province.
The DA is adamant the sales will only be for special events and could help raise money.
“What communities are saying very clearly is we have a huge problem in this province. We have foetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence linked to alcohol abuse,” said Cameron Dugmore, ANC Western Cape.
So there was an absolute rejection, in fact, there was a call in the Oudtshoorn meeting on Tuesday to have this bill withdrawn… I think we are joined by the vast majority of people in our province who are saying this is madness, it’s dangerous and it should be immediately withdrawn,” Dugmore said.
“I think the Premier of this province needs to be asked what is the agenda behind trying to allow schools the right to sell alcohol on school premises, it’s unfathomable,” he said.
The Western Cape Education Department insists alcohol sales at schools can help raise funds.
Education MEC Debbie Schafer says the bill will simply regulate something that’s already commonplace.
“If alcohol is allowed, there is the other scenario where people may wish to rent out their halls at schools for events such as birthday parties in communities and that can assist the school to get their infrastructure approved,” Schafer said.
“I mean there are schools that say that they do so. So I don’t think its fair to say it’s a rich people’s problem because we represent all people not just rich or poor so if it affects rich people it is as important as if it affects poor people. But I know there are schools in poor communities who would like to do this for fundraising purposes not for abuse and I don’t think they should be prevented from doing that if they do so responsibly and if they can regulate that with suitable conditions where if they are not adhered to we can revoke that permission,” she said.
Schafer said the legislation also proposes to take into account the Provincial Alcohol Harms Reduction Policy.
“I don’t think we are being irresponsible, I think we are trying to regulate something that’s happening already allowing schools who wish to do so to do so in a more regulated environment that we will hopefully be able to police better,” she said.
Article Sourced from eNCA
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