The Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (aware.org) affirmed its commitment to alcohol harm reduction by partnering with the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) to address responsible trading in the Eastern Cape.
This initiative forms part of aware.org’s national Community Formalisation Programme that will be rolled out, in its first phase, in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State, and Gauteng respectively. The Provincial Liquor Boards are and will be instrumental in the success of this programme.
As an independent industry body, aware.org has taken a programmatic approach in its efforts to work collaboratively with community stakeholders to facilitate safer and alcohol harm-free environments. Traders are a significant focus in this regard. To this end, aware.org partnered with Sekika to implement their Responsible Trade Facilitation (RTF).
The aim of the initiative is to broadly:
Educate consumers, parents and children about the dangers of alcohol use and misuse and the risks related to underage and binge drinking
Provide training, support and mentorship to traders in understanding how to comply with liquor laws and how operate within these laws, and to better serve the communities in which they operate
Leverage the programme’s results to build better relationships with key stakeholders
“We, together with the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, want to build a culture of responsible alcohol consumption in South Africa. This shared vision makes it possible to address the fight against alcohol use and misuse. This requires a collective effort, and to achieve this “change” we need the support of the community at large, liquor traders and parents and/or caregivers of minors. Communities will be empowered through learning and engagement, resulting in change within societal interactions and the setting of clear boundaries”, says Ingrid Louw, CEO of aware.org.
Aware.org together with its strategic stakeholders remains mindful of their significant role in building ongoing, permanent relationships with communities to create a positive impact. Ensuring that stakeholders have access to the right opportunities, information and tools to make the right choices is crucial to help create self-sustaining communities and formally recognise the sector’s contribution to sustainable socio-economic development.
“It gives me great pleasure to join forces with aware.org, this strategic collaboration will enable us to cultivate and espouse a responsible drinking lifestyle in our province and ultimately South Africa as a whole. With this partnership, the efforts to ensure that those involved in the liquor industry may attain and maintain adequate standards of service delivery will prove to be a feat”, says Khanyile Maneli , CEO of the Eastern Cape Liquor Board.
The outcome of this initiative is to realise a balance between compliance and trade that sees evidence-based outcomes of harm reduction, and the realisation of strategic partnerships like that with the ECLB are the life blood of our harm reduction mandate.