Jean-Jacques Cornish

South Africa’s booze and braaivleis lifestyle under attack

The South African government published a discussion document proposing to brake if not end altogether the country’s boozy barbeque lifestyle and casual acceptance of drinking and driving.

A crate of control measures published in the Government Gazette will radically change the way South Africans live and entertain themselves.

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The proposals will impact on major sports codes that stand to lose billions in alcohol sponsorships.

Liquor sales earn government two billion euros in taxes a year.

The industry directly creates 22 000 jobs and supports three times as many people.

South Africans drink 5 billion litres of alcoholic drinks a year.

The World Health Organisation ranks them fourth on the list of countries with the riskiest drinking patterns.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in South Africa.

The cost of alcohol abuse is estimated to be 2% of gross domestic product.

Alcohol is the third-largest contributor to death and disability after sexually transmitted infections and interpersonal violence.

.About 40% of the population drink alcohol, but only 10% are believed to be abusing it.

The national liquor policy aims to increase the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

It will restrict times for sale of liquor in zoned areas.

It will limit advertising and marketing of alcohol and introduce liability for manufacturers.




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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.