SAB commits to making our roads safer

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As the holidays draw near, South Africans are beginning to unwind and enjoy all that the festive season brings – time with loved ones, and the pleasure of enjoying good food paired with alcohol beverages.  It is also the time where the South African Breweries (SAB), reminds citizens to be responsible and have #NoneForTheRoad.

In the lead up to the festivities, the SAB ‘Drive Sharp Programme’ reported sobering statistics, with a total over 8500 drinking and driving arrests during the period, January – November 2023. Gauteng reported the highest number of arrests at 6 576; followed by 1 175 in KwaZulu-Natal; 722 in the Eastern Cape; and 121 in Limpopo.

These arrests were made possible due to a joint effort and longstanding partnership with law enforcement through Alcohol Evidence Centers (AEC) handed over by SAB.

Zoleka Lisa, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at SAB says, “With over 8 500 drunk drivers caught on our roads this year alone, SAB is committed to helping the nation by empowering our law enforcement authorities to deter drink driving behavour. We really believe that by doing so we can make a difference by encouraging moderation and responsible driving behavior. The safety of our roads is a high priority for us, and we’ve recently handed over four additional mobile AECs to the existing 20. We hope that this festive season an improvement in the safety on our roads”

An AEC is best described as a mobile unit or office that is fitted with world-class infrastructure and technology to test suspected drunk drivers and confirm their breath limit using Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing (EBAT). Registered medical practitioners are on hand to administer the tests and the AECs are all fully equipped to ensure that the evidence is properly collected and admissible in court. The evidentiary breath test delivers immediate test results and contributes to a higher rate of prosecution for drunk drivers.

“Having started in 2009, , SAB has championed AECs to make roads safer in South Africa through AECs. As of December 2023, there are a total of twenty-four AECs throughout the country which consist of ten brick and mortar AECs and fourteen mobile units. The four new units, two in the Free State, and one each in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga will enable law enforcement authorities to be stationed in ‘hot spot’ areas for drunk driving.

“This partnership between SAB Sharp and law enforcement is important to enable our partners to increase visibility to deter drink driving behavior during this festive season. We’re determined to drive a culture of responsible consumption in South Africa in partnership with various law enforcement agencies in South Africa,” says Lisa.

SAB believes more interventions are needed to make South Africa’s roads safer. The AECs are one example of a working partnership to drive awareness and implement effective strategies for promoting responsible alcohol consumption, reducing drunk driving incidents, and encourage a culture of road safety.

Lisa concludes, “Responsibility is integrated into our business strategy and systemwide operations, informing our ambition to grow our category responsibly. It shapes our decisions, guides our actions, and drives our commitment to sustainable growth and positive impact on society. As we head into the festive season, we urge South Africans to enjoy alcohol responsibly and have none for the road.”