The alcohol ban has seriously left South Africans between a rock and a hard place. There are many ongoing debates about whether the alcohol ban should be lifted or not. On the one hand doctors and nurses are emotionally and physically exhausted from treating COVID-19 patients, day in and day out. It is quite clear that our doctors are doing their utmost best and they don’t have the energy to deal with any further strain . The alcohol ban has helped to reduce the number of patients at hospitals due to alcohol related accidents. While on the other hand, most liquor stores are pleading with government to lift the ban, they say the restriction of alcohol sale will destroy the industry.
Which also makes sense because there are many people who work at the shebeens and taverns in our townships. There are casino’s in our cities and wine breweries which people depend on to survive. The South African Breweries (SAB) are at a huge loss and many people are loosing their jobs and houses. What happens to all these people who cannot go to work anymore due to the alcohol ban, how will they support their families with no income whatsoever. The question remains, should the ban the be lifted to save people’s jobs or should it remain to save lives?
I honestly got the shock of my life to see the township streets so empty and quiet ,especially during the most celebrated days of the festive season. Some say alcohol is the worst thing that ever happened in our townships or any black community. You are more likely to find a tavern around the corner than a pharmacy, library or internet café in our townships. You see young children drinking alcohol as if there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Our youth have forgotten about the meaning of true life and majority become alcohol consumers if not alcoholics at a very young. If you drive through the townships on weekends you will see how they actually look forward to drinking the weekend away, party’s and social gatherings hosted without alcohol are even considered to be boring. Perhaps our townships will change for the good if the alcohol ban is not uplifted.
After all, there is nothing progressive about alcohol. If I were to list the advantages and disadvantages of alcohol, the disadvantages would surely over weigh the advantages. I think black people need to realize that the alcohol ban is actually a good thing and that our happiness should not depend on being dizzy at a cost. Several alcohol consumers actually started saving up the money they would normally use to buy alcohol ever since the ban started. Within a few months, they began to realize the amount of money they literally drank away. Now most of them are using that money to extend or renovate their houses. Some even post on Facebook and other social media platforms, to confess that they quit drinking and to inspire others to see this as a wake up call. Yet again, perhaps the main problem here is that South Africans are irresponsible drinkers. Just think about it……maybe if the drinkers were responsible then our hospitals would not have to deal with dramatic alcohol trauma cases, like drunken drivers accidents. As a result, government would have no reason to ban alcohol sales.
This is the best time for alcohol addicts to try to quit drinking because anyway, the corona virus pandemic is not getting any better. Our hospitals are getting crowded and now even our funeral parlors are concerned that they might run out of coffins. Which means the alcohol ban is not going to be lifted anytime soon, in my opinion. Those who have money can buy from the black market at extremely high prices. Otherwise, the country will have to accept it, drink lots of water to quench the thirst and make peace with the fact that they will not get a taste of alcohol anytime soon.