South Africa Challenges: The Pandemic and Prohibition

In case you did not know, prohibition is back and alive and well in South Africa. Yes folks, as if the global pandemic and the subsequent government lockdowns were not enough, South Africans are also having to deal with a temporary ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol as well.

Not that they are forbidden to drink. People were given 24 hours’ notice before the ban came into effect. Sufficient time for some shoppers to stock up with another booze to see them through a prolonged siege, rather than a short three week ban. However, for some, it just adds to the challenges of what has already been a difficult past few months.

Prohibition in South Africa

More about Prohibition in South Africa

The government has its reasons for introducing the ban, although some of its critics argue that it helps to camouflage some of their mistakes in their response to the public health crisis.

The authorities insist that consuming liquor means that is harder for a person to maintain social distancing norms and the other personal hygiene protocols that need to be observed.  In addition, those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to Covid-19, and alcohol undermines the immune system.

Prohibition reduces the incidence of domestic violence. Numerous studies from across the world have highlighted that one of the unfortunate by=products of the pandemic has been an increase in domestic violence caused by households being forced to stay in enforced proximity to each other for sustained lengths of time. Reducing liquor consumption helps remove one of the triggers of such violence.

And, last but not least, it reduces the pressure on the already over pressed emergency services. No longer do ambulance crews and other medical personnel have to spend valuable time and energy dealing with those who have had too much to drink.

The sad fact is that South Africa has a problem with alcohol, with one of the highest consumption rates in the world, whilst its record in terms of road deaths caused by drunk driving is deplorable.

According to studies, half the adult population are identified as drinkers, and a substantial; minority of them can be categorised as binge drinkers. Men are likely to drink more than women, and those in middle to lower income groups drink the most.

In 2015, the country recorded more than 62,000 deaths which were directly attributed to alcohol, but these are only the official figures. Some experts believe that the true figures are much worse, in part because much alcohol consumption amongst the poorer parts of the population take part in unauthorised drinking establishments, like shebeens.

How to survive prohibition in South Africa

For those who are wondering how to survive the latest restrictions without the benefit of alcohol then one suggestion is try online gaming through an operator like Punt Casino South Africa. What they have to offer is listed here along with their latest promotion and bonus offers.

It is important to make sure that those who choose to play their games gamble responsibly and never risk more than they can afford to lose. Otherwise, they risk gaining an addiction as dangerous in its own way as a dependency on alcohol. Prohibition has this effect on people who are used to drink alcohol.

For those who have been forced to do without alcohol during prohibition it might also offer an opportunity as well. Some may find that they are not dependent on it as they once were, and, even once the ban is lifted, may choose to limit their future consumption, with all the long-term health benefits that may bring.

Watch this space for updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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