Cheap alcohol outlets must take part of blame

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Supermarkets must take responsibility when it comes to the alcohol abuse problem, say Grahamstown’s bar owners.

Supermarkets must take responsibility when it comes to the alcohol abuse problem, say Grahamstown’s bar owners.

The matter was agreed upon at the annual Publicans Forum Meeting, attended by local bar owners as well as the Rhodes University Dean of Students, Prof Vivian De Klerk last Wednesday.

House of Pirates co-owner Geoff Waugh said that it was felt in the meeting that cheap alcohol outlets like Pick n Pay and  Checkers should share some of the blame for the alcohol problem because they sell a large amount of wine to students for “pre-drinks”.

Rhodes University has been taking steps to curb the drinking problem in Grahamstown by encouraging bar owners to support responsible drinking and will ask for help from the supermarkets in a letter from the Dean.

The issue of curbing the drinking problem in Grahamstown was one of the main items on the agenda, which also included discussing an article which had appeared Grocott’s Mail on the House of Pirates’ Any  Given Saturday event and the progress of a late-night, alcohol-free venue on campus for student entertainment.

According to De Klerk the main focus of the meeting was the  co-operation of all bar owners in response to the alcohol abuse in Grahamstown.

“It is the town’s problem too and not just Rhodes University’s,” said De Klerk. However, not all bar owners were present at the meeting. “I was disappointed at the turnout from many of our bars,” De Klerk concluded.

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