On Tuesday 12 August 2014 the You Decide School’s competition awards ceremony took place at the Amohelang Intermediate School in Botshabelo. On Wednesday 13 August, two more awards ceremonies took place at the Mantshatlala Intermediate School in Witsieshoek and Sasamala Secondary School in Harrismith.

Underage drinking is a major problem in South Africa – especially among poor communities where school kids indulge in liquor. The South African Breweries (SAB), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and provincial Departments of Education launched this amazing campaign in 2012 to curb underage drinking. As part of South African Breweries’ commitment to the responsible consumption of alcohol, they have funded the You Decide programme to curb underage drinking in South Africa.

Since the launch of the You Decide initiative, the programme has managed to reach over 489 000 learners in 876 schools. Research has also shown a 3% decrease in the number of youths drinking as a result of this programme.

As part of their mission to tackle alcohol issues amongst the youth of South Africa, SAB‘s You Decide Campaign has been reaching out to schools around South Africa. With the You Decide art competition, students explored issues around alcohol abuse, with impressive results. The aim of the competition was to generate awareness around the issues related to alcohol abuse and underage drinking among the youth, and in doing so empower them to make the right decisions.

The competition took place in early 2014, with a total of 260 schools from the Free State, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga taking part. The results were inspiring: A total of 1703 entries were received in various artistic formats including drawings, paintings, poems, story books, creative writing, videos and even songs.

“The entries have shown mature and intelligent perceptions and understanding about alcohol and its abuse. Subject matters ranged from personal reflection to crime in society: not easy themes to portray successfully. We hope these talented ambassadors for our You Decide programme will share their insights with their peers and help put a stop to underage drinking”, says Mr Attie Mokhahlane from SAB Central Region.

For more information, contact Mr Attie Mokhahlane from SAB Central Region on 051 406 8425 or 082 924 2206.

Mantshatlala Intermediate School (Witsieshoek)
Prize: Highly Commended School: Mantshatlala Intermediate School – Prize: R5 000 sporting equipment for the school.
The Mantshatlala Secondary School was one of four schools nationwide to receive the Highly Commended award as part of the You Decide programme. The Mantshatlala Secondary School received five thousand rand’s netball equipment. The schools were judged on how helpful, accommodating, engaging, enthusiastic and receptive they were. Head master Mr Mvoko James Mhlambi was very great full for the award that their school received and urged the students to work hard and do better next year. He also said a word of thanks to all the people involved in this campaign.

The official handover was done by SAB’s Corporate Affairs Specialist for the Free State Province Mr Attie Mokhahlane, SAB Phuthaditjhaba Depot Manager Kolobe Pabale and Head Master Mr Mvoko James Mhlambi.

Mr Attie Mokhahlane from SAB Central Region, talked about SAB’s brand image and programmes that SAB is funding to address underage drinking and responsible alcohol use in people of legal drinking age. It is a fact that underage drinking is a huge problem and it needs all decks on hand to address it, i.e. learners, parents, community, liquor traders and government. It is going to take all of us to ensure that our youth have a bright and fruitful future.

Top prizes were awarded:
o 1st place: Tshepo Litsibane, Grade 9 learner from Amohelang Intermediate School, Free State. Prize: R10,000 sporting equipment each for Tshepo and his school.
o 2nd place: Cwayita Madala, Grade 12 learner from Khulani Commercial School Eastern Cape. Prize: R6,000 merchandise each for Cwayita and her school.
o 3rd place: Molefe Mbele, Grade 12 learner from Sasamala Secondary School Harrismith. Prize: R4,000 sporting equipment each for Molefe and his school.
o 4th place: Bongani Mapaha, Grade 9 learner from Amohelang Intermediate School, Free State.
o 5th place: Lefa Tsoeu, Grade 9 learner from Amohelang Intermediate School Free State.

Schools highly commended
These winning schools each received R5, 000. In each of the regions, our School Liaison Officers had their top pick of the schools that they visited. The schools were judged on how helpful, accommodating, engaging, enthusiastic and receptive they were.
• Mpumalanga: Moses Mnisi Secondary School
• Free State: Mantshatlala Intermediate School
• KwaZulu-Natal: Savannah Park Secondary School
• Eastern Cape: Ndyebo Secondary School