27 June 2019



One thing the 21st century has taught us is that actions speak louder than words – empty promises help no one in the end.


Youth month in South Africa is celebrated to pay tribute to the youth of South Africa who played a crucial role in standing up against the Apartheid regime as well as celebrating the memory of all the youngsters who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising on 16 June 1976, specifically Hector Pieterson, a 12 year old student who was killed during the uprising.

Not only does this day look to the history of our youth but it has also become a symbol of the challenges that the youth, in South Africa, face.

As one of the biggest corporates in South Africa, we understand that we play a role in ensuring our youth are given the opportunity to be the best that they can be. Through the Be the Mentor Programme, it has always been our aim to curb underage drinking through educating adult mentors in our communities on the effects of underage consumption on our youth.

So, for this Youth Month, we had a few initiatives on the roll to continue with our purpose of curbing underage drinking.


Our focus was to educate the youth on underage drinking and additionally, provide them with alternative ways to spend their time more productively. One of our projects that kickstarted this initiative was refurbishing sporting facilities at Rietvale High School in Jakobsdaal close to Kimberley. Our SAB team in the Free State built a multi-purpose court, a giant outdoor chess board, other traditional local games for learners to enjoy as well as assisted in a garden clean-up and laying down a fresh coat of paint on the current courts at the high school. We saw not only our staff but a gathering of the students and staff, Local Councillors and NGOs all pulling their weight in ensuring a successful day.

This initiative was mirrored across various parts of the country with our Pretoria Team supporting Phateng Secondary School and our Cape Region assisting Sakhikamvu High School with new sports kits being provided to Newlands High School.

In Kwa-Zulu Natal, our team supported the Ethekwini Municipality’s Arts & Music festival which encouraged youth participation in creative activities. Additionally, the KZN team held youth dialogue sessions at the Arise Awake Youth Festival and the Inauguration of Inkosi TM Mzimela highlighting the dangers of underage consumption and informing the community on how to assist the youth with such issues.


Social media awareness has been a part of our programme from the get-go. We know that a lot of our youth spend a large part of their free time on social media. So, what better way to reach them than with content that they can relate to through a platform that they are familiar with?

We launched #InstaCollege on the Be the Mentor Instagram page at the beginning of this month. Using the Instagram grid, we launched lessons on how to be a better mentor.


Workshops were held in Delft as well as East London to teach a wider community about starting the conversation around underage drinking, helping kids at risk and providing guides for new mentors. The objective was to reach the wider community in order to communicate the message about curbing underage consumption.

Parents: Parents and guardians are the primary care givers of young people. They have a responsibility to ensure safe, nurturing environments from which children learn and develop. The role of the parent is to guide a young person into becoming a socially moral and independent person who is a contributing member of society.

Community: The overall community plays a role in a young person’s development in that the environment serves as a learning community for the young person. This is where young people grow and develop and as such the contributing members in this environment contribute to the young person’s aspirations as well as their view of reality.

Both Community and Parents workshops in Delft and East London were a success. The audience was receptive and participative. Various stakeholders addressed the audience and a discussion around the challenges they are currently facing, as the community or parents to the youth in the area, were addressed.

Workshops in other areas: Gauteng, KZN, Port Elizabeth, Free State and Limpopo are to follow from July 2019.

Feel free to download the workbooks that are used in our workshops. They are great to have on hand if you ever feel like you need any more information on underage drinking and how to deal with kids who are at risk of being affected by it.

[pdf links to workbooks]

  • Parents workbook - that educates parents on how to start conversations with their kids around underage drinking.
  • Teachers workbook - provides teachers with tools on how they can help at-risk pupils and also features lessons that they can use to educate kids in LO class.
  • Mentors Workbook - a guide for new mentors.

If you believe you can make a difference (even if it’s the smallest difference) to a younger life that may be affected by underage drinking, pledge to be a mentor now by clicking here.