South Africa

Society needs to talk about underage drinking – Ramaphosa on Enyoben tragedy

Young people from all over East London gathered in the Enyobeni pub to pay their respects to the 21 teenagers who died on Sunday 26 June.

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country needs to have an honest conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.
  • 21 teenagers who died more than a week ago at the Enyobeni Tavern in east London will be laid to rest this week.
  • It is suspected that the children died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern over the normalization of underage drinking in the country.

In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa said it was worrying that so many young people were drinking alcohol.

The 21 young people who died in the Enyobeni pub in Scenery Park, east London, will be buried in a mass funeral this week. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are suspected to have died carbon monoxide poisoning.

The City of Buffalo is investigating how the tavern was built in a residential area and whether the structure met safety standards. The police also launched an investigation into the deaths.

Ramaphosa said the country should use their deaths to talk about underage alcohol consumption.

“Several young people from Scenery Park told the media that they saw a post on social media offering free alcoholic drinks to anyone who attended the event that night.”

Ramaphosa added:

The increased social acceptance of young people who consume alcohol has become a serious problem in a country where the majority of the drinking population is classified as excessive alcohol consumers by the World Health Organization.

According to him, families should have honest conversations with young people about the dangers of alcohol.

“This is not the first time we have been faced with tragic events like the one that happened in Scenery Park last week. A common denominator between the Enyobeni Tavern, the 2000 Throb nightclub disaster in Durban and the 2015 Osi Tavern tragedy in Khayelitsha , that these establishments sold alcohol to minors.

“The proliferation of institutions that openly violate the law indicates the failure of the authorities to enforce the rules.”

Some damaged furniture can be seen in the tavern in Enyoben

In the Enyoben tavern, where 21 teenagers died in the early hours of June 26.

News24 Malibongwe Dayimani

In March 2000, 13 young people aged between 11 and 18 died in a stampede at the Throb nightclub in Chatsworth, Durban. This happened after a tear gas canister was thrown at the scene.

In 2015, eight women died when a metal railing attached to a staircase collapsed at Osi’s house in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Ramaphosa said the government needs to create facilities in communities to keep the youth busy.

“The Scenery Park community has drawn attention to the lack of opportunities for sports, learning and other development opportunities for young people, which has led them to resort to ‘tavern hopping’.

“As a national, provincial and local government, we need to respond to the requests of this community and other communities and create more recreational spaces, facilities, programs and projects for our youth in disadvantaged areas of the province.”


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Society needs to talk about underage drinking – Ramaphosa on Enyoben tragedy

Source link Society needs to talk about underage drinking – Ramaphosa on Enyoben tragedy

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