Tackling Underage Drinking

06 Mar 13


The rise of alcohol use in teenagers presents overwhelming statistics that threaten the future of our economy and stability of our country.  Studies show that one in two South African teenagers is a regular consumer of alcohol. Studies have also shown that teenagers who consume alcohol are also more likely to resort to using recreational drugs, such as cocaine.


SAB’s Stance on Underage Drinking

As far as SAB is concerned, underage drinking is unacceptable.  We’ve forged a strong partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) as well as certain provincial Departments of Education.  Through this bond, we’ve been able to launch a comprehensive campaign that actively tackles how teenagers view alcohol.

It was launched in February of 2012 and is predominantly aimed at teenagers while bringing parents, peers, teachers, traders and the entire community into the mix too.  The campaign is called You Decide, and it details a range of clinical and psychological facts and thinking on the subject of underage drinking.

The name of the campaign indicates that choice is at the base of each and every individual. Activities were crafted around the idea of choice and how it can be either positive or negative.  School visits and an interactive roadshow are at the crux of the campaign, as well as inter-school art competitions.  Lesson plans, parental guides and teen resources are provided as well as a toll free helpline, website and Facebook page.

The programme is expected to run for a few years to maximize on benefit. The initial phase targeted 187 162 learners from 292 schools across Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State and Mpumulanga. To date, a 3% absolute drop and 8.3% relative drop in alcohol consumption by teenagers has been reported.