Alcohol abuse costing province R6bn a year

Estelle Ellis

THE Eastern Cape Health Department has spent more than R6-billion on treating the victims of alcohol-related violence and accidents in the past year, according to the provincial liquor board.

This is in sharp contrast to the R71-million the province earns from liquor licences.

The staggering health cost has been revealed shortly after Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced plans to increase the legal age for drinking from 18 to 21 and reduce the blood-alcohol levels for drivers to zero. Other measures being considered include a ban on alcohol advertising and a review of alcohol pricing.

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