However, if anyone thinks that this will address the problem of alcohol abuse amongst the youth, we are all missing the boat.

Banning alcohol from UP related functions won’t curb student drinking. The closing of Hatfield bars and clubs won’t either. South Africa has a drinking culture. Research by the Central Drug Authority estimates that the average South African will “drink approximately 20.1 litres of pure alcohol each year, which is equivalent to 196 six packs of beer, 62 bottles of spirits or 220 bottles of wine.”

The remedy to this culture isn’t apparent to me but encouraging responsible drinking should be the start. Students are adults and they need to take responsibility for their decisions and actions. This is, after all, the learning curve stage in their lives.

UP might have missed a golden opportunity to retain control over the amount of alcohol being consumed at UP events by giving the steering wheel to external parties who do not care about development of students and only see the cash cow.

To wash your hands and turn a blind eye might be more damaging than the punch that caused such a stir.

Carel Willemse

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