News & events


Another David and Goliath Story: Promoting Public Health in the face of aggressive marketing by the alcohol industry

23 October 2017
12:30 - 14:00

Date: 23 October 2017

Time:  12h30 – 14h00

Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town

Presenter: Aadielah Maker Diedericks, Coordinator, Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA)

Chair: Shirin Motala, Economic Performance and Development, HSRC

As part of its 2017 Mandela month initiatives South African Breweries (SAB) partnered with Rise Against Hunger (formerly known as Stop Hunger Now) to distribute food to poor learners as part of its commitment to creating a better and healthier world for all.

SAB’s aggressive marketing promotion read as follows:
The Beers for Africa pack contains 8 beers from Africa and each pack that is sold will lead to a contribution that will feed 3 students on the continent. We have raised our African beers in support of hunger alleviation in Africa. #StopHungerNow #BeersForAfrica

In August 2017, in response to this aggressive marketing campaign, SAAPA, a civil society network across 8 SADC countries
mobilized practitioners, academics, researchers and civil society to successfully stop SAB from promoting the sale of beers.

The successful discontinuation of SAB’s unethical and aggressive marketing campaign demonstrated the power of joint action in the face of big corporates that are scrambling to grow their profits on the African Continent and other LMC regions.
Importantly for South Africa, it comes at a time when, key provisions in the National Liquor Amendment Bill are being blocked with the call by some parties in NEDLAC for more socio-economic impact studies on the implementation of those provisions. This is despite government’s own research concluding that the fiscus spends + R245 billion annually on alcohol-related harm. If one offsets this against the mere +R97 billion revenue generated through taxes, it becomes obvious that the South African tax payer effectively subsidizes the profit of the alcohol industry.
Join us as we deliberate the critical challenge facing the public health community in how to positively influence the policy environment towards one which actively promotes and protects public health, when corporate interests use their economic muscle to influence public health policy in South Africa.

Kindly RSVP by 20 October 2017

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact : Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: or

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004 or or Carmen August at

Durban:  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail