South Africa

No drinking in school uniforms

Parents and tavern owners were encouraged to set a good example when celebrating Youth Day on June 16 this year.

Oupa Mthombeni from Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders said parents should not wear school uniforms if drinking or when purchasing alcohol to celebrate Youth Day.

He said the same applies to tavern owners; they should not sell alcohol to people wearing a school uniform or who are under age.

“No alcohol if wearing a school uniform on Youth Day,” said Mthombeni.

He said anyone selling alcohol to people in school uniform during this time can be fined.

“Tavern owners can sell alcohol, but not to anyone wearing a school uniform, regardless of their age. Drinking while in a school uniform is illegal,” he said.

Instead, he asked residents to respect school uniforms and celebrate Youth Day with dignity.

He was referencing a tradition in which adults wear their school uniform on June 16 to celebrate Youth Day.

“Residents must go home and change into something else before going to taverns and pubs to drink because they will be sending the wrong message to schoolchildren,” said Mthombeni.

He said anyone found drinking while wearing a school uniform would be arrested for public drinking, and the tavern owner would be forced to pay a fine.

Mthombeni said the main aim is to discourage learners from drinking while wearing a school uniform, especially with Youth Day coming up.

“Drinking in a school uniform sends the wrong message to children.

“The youth of 1976 did not fight and die for people to drink while wearing a school uniform; they fought for a better life for today’s youth,” said Mthombeni.

He said his organisation has partnered with Mamelodi stakeholders and law enforcement in the campaign to warn tavern owners not to sell alcohol to anyone wearing a school uniform.

“We are not saying people must not drink. Residents [who are of age] can enjoy themselves on the day, but just not in a school uniform.”

He pleaded with learners not to drink on June 16, but to remember the sacrifice the youth of 1976 made to earn the right to an environment conducive to learning.

“Some lost their lives for this right,” he said.

He said he hoped their message got around to every tavern and that people would respect the day.

He said the association would work with police to make sure liquor traders comply with the rules of selling liquor.

“We will conduct our own patrols on Youth Day to make sure liquor traders don’t allow people in a school uniform into their place of business.”

He invited residents to call police or the association to report any tavern or pub that admitted a person in a school uniform.

“Liquor traders best pass the message on to their customers and tell them they will not sell alcohol to anyone wearing a school uniform or they will be fined.”

He said his organisation wanted to see liquor traders comply with liquor laws without exception.

The law also prohibits the sale of liquor to an underage child or a pregnant woman.

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