Taverns that are located close to schools remain a huge problem in the Eastern Cape, especially, in rural areas. Learners and even teachers sometimes frequent the establishments and return to school inebriated. The music from the taverns also distracts learners during school time.
Taverns are regulated and are not allowed within a certain distance from schools, but the regulations are often ignored and not enforced.
Jamangile High School principal in Maclear, Luthando Yaso says this situation is uncontrollable. “There are more taverns and that affects our school very negatively because we teach learners that some of them are over the schooling age. Some of them are 19 -20. So they do things that others do – like the abuse of alcohol. Some of them come to school drunk.”
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board has issued a stern warning to the liquor traders that are non-compliant.
“We would like to send a very strong warning to liquor traders that are involved in this behavior. We also urge members of the community to also report to the liquor board, liquor traders that sell to school children, they may report on our toll-free number 0800 0420,” says board spokesperson Dr. Mgwebi Msiya.