The Soul City Institute Calls for the Gauteng Premier to be Accountable

The Soul City Institute Calls for the Gauteng Premier to be Accountable

Once again, economic development comes at the cost of women’s safety.
The Soul City Institute Calls for the Gauteng Premier to be Accountable

The news that Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and the Department of Economic Development have partnered with alcohol brand, Heineken on a tavern campaign has left us concerned.

The campaign called “taverns for the future”, is reported to be piloting in Alexendra township, upgrading the look and feel of popular drinking spots. 

In a country ranked as one of the highest consumers of alcohol, the Soul City Institute is concerned about the impact that such a campaign will have on those often on the receiving end of violence induced by alcohol. Ahead of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, the Premier has demonstrated that his priorities are corporate investments and not the well-being of his citizens.

GBV is driven by multiple factors which exist on individual, societal and community levels, confounded by the structural factors such as easy access to alcohol, alcohol outlet density and trading hours. Given studies that have proven that men's harmful alcohol use triples their risk of perpetrating gender-based violence (GBV) or interpersonal violence (IPV), this doesn’t paint a good picture for the future. We find that not only is the premier contradicting his own views on the state of substance abuse in the country, but he is in fact aiding in the abuse of women and children instead of investing in GBV redress.

A country that is intentional about the protection of womxn against the scourge of GBV would not be allowing for an increase in alcohol outlets, instead the intention should be to regulate the already existing outlets and ensuring that we reduce the risk of harm to those made vulnerable by the consumption of alcohol,” Phinah Kodisang, CEO.

The impact of our PhuzaWize campaign taught us how the inconsistent application of the by-laws has enabled the alcohol outlets to operate outside approved regulations, in some instances we have outlets that are less than 200m away from schools, more outlets than schools and many leaners reporting rape by tavern patrons. We wonder how much of this context was considered in the conceptualisation of the campaign.

Pillar 1 of the NSP on GBV calls for accountability, and as an intersectional organisation, we’d like to bring to the premier’s attention the interconnected issues that will be affected by his future taverns and to indicate that we will hold him personally accountable for the continued perpetration of GBV in Gauteng.

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