Official statements & letters from SAIF
Public Hearing on Shebeen Motion
National Council – Standing Committee on Security, Constitutional and Legal Affairs
Introduction to SAIF
The Self-regulating Alcohol Industry Forum (SAIF) is an association comprising of members that include most of the formal manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic beverages in Namibia, these are African Marketing, Camelthorn Brewing Company, Castle Brewing Namibia, Commercial Investment Corporation, DISTELL Namibia, House of Wines, Kristall Kellerei, Namibia Breweries Limited, Pernod Ricard Namibia, SMC Brands Namibia, United Liquor Agencies. SAIF very recently has resolved to invite alcohol traders as associate members. Negotiations with the Hospitality Association of Namibia are at an advanced stage.
SAIF is focused on the prevention of the negative consequences of alcohol abuse. The Forum’s mission is to reduce alcohol-related harm through combating the misuse and abuse of alcohol beverages and promoting only their responsible use. SAIF furthermore intends to change the reputation of alcohol in society.
The primary targets for its interventions are two broad groups namely young people and those adults who are vulnerable and most at risk of suffering the negative consequences of alcohol abuse and misuse. Most of its interventions are in partnership with other stakeholders who share similar objectives.
SAIF retains strong links with international organizations working in the same field such as the International Centre on Alcohol Policies (ICAP), South African Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA), Botswana Alcohol Industry Association (BAIA) and European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD). SAIF was formed on 21 February 2007, and adopted a strict Code of Commercial Communication to which its members commit when joining the forum.
Open letter in response to the Namibia Sun article of 27 February:
Namibia, a nation of Drunkards?
The Editor | The Namibian Sun
Dear Mr Poolman
The article published in the Namibian Sun on the 27th of February, raising the issue of Alcohol Abuse in Namibia, herewith refers. The Self-Regulating Alcohol Industry Forum (SAIF), an organization representing all major suppliers and producers of alcoholic beverages with its main objective being the promotion of responsible drinking, herewith wishes to provide the following response to the
above article, for your consideration.
Our response thereto is not to deny that alcohol abuse is a problem in Namibian society, in fact, we wholeheartedly agree that harmful drinking needs to be addressed through effective strategies by an array of stakeholders. However, as alcohol abuse is an emotive matter, and easily taken out of context, we wish to provide a different perspective on this matter and correct some of the statements made in the article.
The article refers to an average adult consumption of 10 litres of alcohol a week. Contrary to this figure, the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, published by the WHO in 2011, states that Namibians consumed an average of 9.62 litres of pure alcohol in a year. For most people this is difficult to comprehend in terms of their own consumption, however, considering recommendations published in a booklet by the Coalition of Responsible Drinking (CORD), a responsible drinking initiative coordinated by the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services, this is well within recommended guidelines on responsible drinking.