This paper explores two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, it explores the current regulatory environment in relation to drinking practices in the Western Cape. On the other, it examines the ways in which stakeholders of such regulation formulate, comprehend and act upon the “problem” of drinking. As a result, the paper aims to tease out where the differences between what is said (of alcohol within policy) and what is done (about alcohol within policy). It does this in order to: (1) deepen current engagements with alcohol control policies in South Africa and the Global South; (2) explore the extent to which stakeholders actually know about the drinking practices that they seek to regulate; and (3) argue that although drinking practices in the Global South exhibit particularities that mark it out in contrast to those of the Global North, the regulatory challenges are often far more similar than either expected or acknowledged. These similarities have significant consequences for how alcohol is understood as a barrier to development as well as offering a useful point of critique for alcohol policies more broadly.
Herrick, C. Governing alcohol control in the Western Cape : what is said v what is done. Presented at Society of South African Geographers (SSAG) conference : building critical conversations in geography, Cape Town, 20 June 2012. (2012)