SIYA Kolisi has made an impassionate plea to South Africans to drink alcohol responsibly and thus refrain from adding to the woes already suffered by the country during the coronavirus (scourge).
The Springboks captain has partnered one of South Africa's leading alcohol companies to spearhead responsible drinking over the festive season.
"I don't drink alcohol but I used to drink," Kolisi said in Johannesburg.
"Also, there is nothing wrong with drinking as long as one can control it. Alcohol plays a big role in our lives. Celebrating the good times but there is also a bad side to it," he said.
"That is why it is important for us to lead by example as the Pernod Ricard family to (promote) drink responsibly and making sure people are not binge drinking. That's not what we need right now."
Pernod Ricard is the France-based spirits and champagne company Kolisi has partnered with.
The partnership came on the back of alcohol being under the spotlight in South Africa during a lockdown imposed by government to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It is also blamed for the surge in domestic and gender-based violence and traffic accidents, which also surged during the lockdown.
Government has since the end of March twice prohibited its sale during the restrictions against COVID-19.
South Africa has recorded more than 742 000 cases and over2 0,000 deaths from the virus. It is the worst eruption in the continent.
"Our country is going through a lot lately with COVID-19 and gender based violence. We cannot afford to be losing more people to alcohol," Kolisi said.
The rugby skipper reiterated the message by President Cyril Ramaphosa who on Wednesday dissuaded South Africans from letting their guard down amid the infections receding.
"Let us be safe this festive season," Kolisi said, encouraging the wearing of masks and social distancing.
Copyright CAJ News Agency. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English