Too many liquor stores in Randfontein?

Apparently, Randfontein once featured in the Guinness Book of Records as “having the most liquor stores in the world”.

This got me thinking … is that true? Being a journalist, I just had to do some research and what I found was the following:

Although the Guinness Book of Records website had no official record, I picked up an article written in November 2006 that makes mention of it, but that’s not all …

It says, and I quote: “This could mean that it has the highest rate of alcohol consumption, something the local authorities see as a contributing factor to the gender violence and abuse experienced by the communities in the rural areas around the mining town, west of Joburg.”

It’s also said the chairperson of the Randfontein Community Policing Forum at the time encouraged those affected by abuse “either at home or outside, to come forward and get the necessary assistance” during a crime awareness campaign and the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children.

According to the chairperson, “Abuse was not rife only in areas such as Toekomsrus and Mohlakeng, near Randfontein, which are rural, but also in the surrounding suburbs of Greenhills” and that violence and abuse occurred mostly during weekends, because “alcohol was often misused”.

The chairperson added “In many instances the abused were too scared to report the abuse, and they often went back to the abuser”.

This is really not hard to believe. In recent years, the Herald has featured numerous articles about domestic violence. For example, in January this year, under the headline “Domestic violence: Help for victims” domestic violence was listed as a major social problem in South Africa, and it happens every day, in all areas of Randfontein.

The Randfontein Police are also said to have their hands full with daily reports of domestic violence, but, according to the current police spokesperson, Captain Appel Ernst,

“We have … many incidents where the victim opens up a case against the other person but the next day, tries to withdraw it”.

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Clinton Botha

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