The Democratic Alliance welcomes the commitment from Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, to research the relationship between alcohol use and gender-based violence.
His commitment follows after the matter was raised by myself through a member’s statement during plenary in the Eastern Cape Legislature this afternoon [Wednesday, 2 December 2020], where I asked why research is not being done by the province into the relationship between liquor and violent crime, of which gender-based violence is a component?
When I asked the question to the MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mlungisi Mvoko, a few months back, whether the Liquor Board has undertaken any study between the relationship of liquor and gender-based violence, the answer was no.
When I asked the same question to the Department of Safety and Liaison, MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, the answer came back as, “this is a matter of national competence.”
I say this should be a priority!
The Democratic Alliance believes that research should be conducted into the relationship not only between alcohol and violent crimes but also between alcohol and gender-based violence.
According to the answer to a question I received in September this year, over nine per cent of all crime in the province is liquor related. In the case of assault GBH in this province, it is 55 per cent, common assault is 18 per cent, and sexual offences 18 per cent.
There is a high correlation between violent crimes, gender-based violence and the misuse of alcohol.
I believe that it is incumbent of the province, either through the Liquor Board or the Department of Safety and Liaison, to conduct research into the relationship particularly between gender-based violence and alcohol in order to come up with concrete proposals to mitigate the damage that alcohol-related crime is impacting on our society.
A study inter alia could focus on location, demographics, time and cause, thus allowing for resources to be focused.
In a caring and capable state, we need to get to the root cause of gender-based violence, and there is no doubt in my mind that alcohol misuse is part of that and research is needed as part of the plan to fix this hideous crime.