Spike in crime and accidents mostly alcohol-related, says Transport MEC

A WORD: Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe speaks to Premier Oscar Mabuyane during a mass funeral
Image: LULAMILE FENI

Since the country moved to level 3 there have been 114 murders and 60 reported drunken driving cases in the province, according to Eastern Cape transport, safety and liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe.

In a statement released by her spokesperson Unathi Binqose, Tikana-Gxothiwe said data showed an increase in crime, which could not be ignored.

“Data released by the SA Police Service shows that crime has increased significantly in less than 10 days since [the start of] level 3.

“This coincided with the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol. Everything from road accidents, murder (114 cases), attempted murder (61 cases), rape (117 cases), and cases of drunk driving have all gone up over the past nine days,” she said.

Tikana-Gxothiwe said this data supported growing calls for a ban on alcohol sales in the province until level 1.

The spike has put additional strain on the province’s health-care system, which is already grappling with an ever-increasing number of Covid-19 cases, she said.

“The effect on the roads in the nine days since moving to level 3 shows there were 60 drunk driving cases, 31 of those resulted in accidents, some were fatal.

“Some were life-altering for the survivors [and] there were 35 culpable homicide cases. The effect of alcohol in all this can’t be denied.

“This prompted the Oscar Mabuyane-led provincial command council to call for a review on the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol, at least in the Eastern Cape.

“Premier Mabuyane’s calls continue to gain prominence, and attract criticism in some quarters. However, he is forging ahead, lobbying the national government to reinstate the liquor ban in the province.”

While critics would say everything was being pinned on alcohol, she said in reality nothing was further from the truth.

“We’re saying there is compelling evidence pointing to irresponsible drinking, alcohol abuse and the danger that it poses in our plans to combat Covid-19.

“That cannot and should not be ignored. The additional strain on our health system is now threatening to undermine everything done to deal with Covid-19.

“Our law enforcement officers are also overstretched, dealing with criminal cases when they could be assisting in enforcing lockdown regulations,” Tikana-Gxothiwe said.

The Eastern Cape Covid-19 command council has not blamed alcohol for the spread of Covid-19 cases in the province.

BY SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

1 COMMENT

  1. You cannot blame alcohol It’s a choice but then most people in this country cannot drink responsibly You have to control alcohol so that people who drink responsibly are not tarred with the same brush as the masses of irresponsible alcoholics

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here