The national festive campaign, titled 'It's not just about you'
, aims to appeal to citizens' greater sense of responsibility to their loved ones and to their fellow South Africans as a whole, and the resultant impact of road fatalities on those left behind.
"Unfortunately in South Africa, December is well-known for people drinking irresponsibly and the associated alcohol-related harm. While there is no shortage of efforts to curb this behaviour, people generally resist being told what to do as many might perceive their freedoms as being curtailed," says Ingrid Louw, CEO of aware.org.
"Through this strong partnership of diverse resources and interests and by focusing on consumers' genuine care for those closest to them, we aim to substantially address harm on our roads caused as a result of alcohol abuse and misuse," adds Louw.
A 2020 RTMC report
on driver intoxication estimates that driver alcohol intoxication is involved in over 27% of fatal crashes.
"We need to continue to be vigilant when it comes to the relentless scourge of drinking and driving / walking on South African roads and in communities — especially during the festive season," says RTMC CEO advocate Makhosini Msibi.
"This requires a multifaceted stakeholder effort that involves a combination of visible law enforcement, a national education drive and a call to action, which includes the provision of safer alternatives to getting home safely, such as using a designated driver or allowing a CPF patroller to walk you home safely," adds Msibi.
"Over the past year, the number of deaths in road crashes during the festive has come down. However, fatalities remain stubbornly high and with the ravaging effects of COVID-19 still affecting the economy and communities, we need to take drastic action," says Msibi.
The 2020 campaign is a collective effort by government, industry, civil society, traders and communities, which represents a social compact to address alcohol-related harm in South Africa head-on.
Key focus pillars of this social compact include drinking and driving / walking, underage drinking, responsible trading and marketing and binge drinking.
The campaign is supported by upscaled on-the-ground activations and interventions aimed to send the message that even while drinking and driving / walking alone, you take the hopes and dreams of those close to you along for the ride.
"We all have to come together as citizens and institutions to ensure that our roads are safe for travellers and their loved ones as we grapple with the pandemic and the necessary protection of our citizens," concludes Louw.
For more information, visit www.aware.org.za
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