High-profile soccer figures met at the social-trendy Konka Lounge in Soweto to announce a new program to minimise drinking while driving.
The program, dubbed “Wrong Side of the Road,” employs online engagement between customers and important personalities to relate real-life experiences of problems caused by driving while inebriated.
Wrong Side of the Road was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and is funded by Diageo South Africa, which owns various liquor brands like Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Ciroc, Smirnoff, and Captain Morgan.
Former Mamelodi Sundowns long-serving captain Hlompho Kekana, former Chiefs and Pirates striker Phumlani Mkhize, SuperSport United experienced striker Bradley Globler, and Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis were among those present at Konka to launch and support the campaign.
Junior Khanye, a former Kaizer Chiefs player who is no stranger to driving on the wrong side of the road, leads the platform with a series of films detailing his drunk driving experience. Khanye was set for stardom, but his promising career with one of the country’s major teams was derailed by off-field issues.
“I crashed into four cars. Two cars were beyond repair and two I had to repair. I lost a R2 million house I had at the time as well as the car. What is more sad are the injuries I caused on other people. One of the motorists involved in the accident was in a comma for three day and others badly injured. It is regrettable,” said Khanye.
Banyana’s Desiree Ellis, who is from Hanover Park in Cape Town, said she has firsthand experience of alcohol and substance abuse, which has decimated her community and others around the country.
She said; “You see the law enforcement agencies pulling over cars with cooler bags loaded with nice cold liquids. It is a dangerous thing to do because you find that drivers are drinking, putting their lives and those of others at risk. We need to have a mind shift and change of attitudes and drive dry at all times.”