There is growing concern about the alarming amount of alcohol consumed by students in the Eastern Cape. The use of it at Institutions of Higher Learning has seen at least two murders in separate incidents at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha.
Now, the Eastern Cape Liquor Board is working with these universities. It has launched an educational campaign on responsible drinking and the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Qonda Ndlebe (28), from Mthatha, dreamt about becoming an electrical engineer. When he passed matric in 2007 and was admitted to the Walter Sisulu University, he knew his dreams were closer to being realized. But that’s when his problems started. He got caught up in city life and ended up drinking heavily in his first year. He started bunking classes and failed his subjects and then dropped out of university. He is now a recovering alcoholic.
He says he changed schools, friends and jobs because of alcohol abuse, but sat down with his mother and found that the problem is him and the alcohol he consumes. They then decided he joins a rehabilitation centre to deal with his problems.
There are fears that NSFAS depositing cash for meal allowances into student’s bank accounts is exacerbating the problem. They previously received meal vouchers.
Economic Development MEC Oscar Mabuyane says they received information that students got their monies on a Friday and already by Sunday a liquor outlet in East London made over a million rand.
“This level of indulging liquor is a problematic one so we are really trying to intervene and call on communities because this is a societal problem.”
Eastern Cape Liquor Board Chairperson, Professor Lindelwa Majova-Songca says they have been teaching traders about responsible drinking but have come to realise that university students are the ones they should introduce these programmes to, as they are concerned about the rate in which they drink alcohol.
Now, a call for SRC’s to rethink the amount of money they use for social programmes on university campuses.
WSU Vice Chancellor, Prof Rob Midgley says there is nothing wrong with throwing bashes but the amount of money that goes into them is too much, especially when there are students in need of funding to study.
Students want more initiatives like these to help curb campus rape, assault and the number of drop outs as a result of alcohol abuse.
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