Social acceptability of young people drinking alcohol a serious problem: Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa says the increased social acceptability of young people drinking alcohol has become a serious problem in the country.

Reflecting on the deaths of 21 young people at Enyobeni Tavern tragedy in East London in the Eastern Cape last week, he urged families to have frank conversations with their children about alcohol.

President Ramaphosa says families should also refrain from practices such as sending minors to buy alcohol.

He’s called on the police to step up the enforcement of laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol close to schools and monitor outlets to ensure that alcohol is not being sold to minors.

As the families prepare this week to bury their loved ones, President Ramaphosa has called on communities to work with authorities to ensure that entertainment venues selling alcohol to those under 18 face consequences.

He has urged government at all levels to develop more recreational spaces, facilities and programmes for young people in disadvantaged areas with the business community assisting with sponsorship.

The President noted that communities must work with Community Policing Forums as well as school governing bodies to play a more active role in the lives of their children to ensure their safety and well-being.

Meanwhile preparations are well underway for the funeral on Wednesday, of the 21 young people, including teenagers, that were killed a week ago at Enyobeni tavern, at Scenery Park in East London in the Eastern Cape. 

Police are yet to release postmortem results on what caused the deaths.  

The families of the deceased are said to have asked for a mass funeral.