During a community engagement in Richie, near Kimberley today, Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, called on churches, non-governmental organisation, community organisations and community leaders to work together to bring an immediate end to alcohol abuse, especially amongst women.
Minister Brown was accompanied by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas, and mayors on an Imbizo programme in Ritchie. This area has been affected by alcohol abuse, drug abuse and high unemployment.
“I am more concerned about the incidences where pregnant women continue to abuse alcohol. This is extremely dangerous and even selfish because it is a clear indication that these women do not care about the safety and the intellectual capabilities of their unborn children.”
“Something drastic should be done to curb the abuse of alcohol by especially pregnant women as such cruelty to unborn children can no longer be tolerated,” she said.
Research indicates that in some parts of the Western and Northern Cape, the levels of FAS are much higher than anywhere else in the world as the prevalence ratio are in some areas are between 135 to 207 per 1 000.
“We can no longer sit idly by and see how innocent children are being robbed of their future or an opportunity to live a better life, we need to do more to protect all children and create conditions of safety and security for them,” Brown added.
Brown also repeated government’s condemnation of the recent attacks on foreign nationals and foreign-owned businesses.
“Government condemns the attacks and the related violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially the respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and Ubuntu. These attacks are unacceptable and should not be tolerated by any of us.”
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