Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Alcohol Ban – Surviving the addiction during the Lockdown

Joe Mashilo
Jouberton, Klerksdorp
24 April 2020

Alcohol sale is banned under Lock down regulations, one of reasons been taverns and pubs as public social spaces will undoubtedly spread the virus at an alarming rate. Surely we all know how life is and how patrons behave in those public spaces. Now the questions on my mind are, how are the liquor traders coping? how are alcohol consumers coping?, Are the law enforcement agencies coping?, How are the illegal traders coping?

I must say, to the liquor trader’s the Lock down is bad news, the lock obviously bad for the liquor businesses, especially taverns and pubs. It simply means no income for the family. It is worth noting that the lock down found many of them with stock in their premises, another question to be answered after lock down is, who were the law abider’s?. Ideally, taverns are risks areas, and so the people who are owning such premises. During the first weekend of the lock down, we have seen some owner’s closing the front doors and operating from the back doors, some moved the stock and sold from friends and relatives, prices are being hiked, remember that most of these owners are survivalist, they are in the business just to be able to provide for their families. Today we are on the 27th day of the lock down, they still can’t sell, only those who are connected to the owners can get the back door alcohol purchase, prior arrangements in such scenarios are extremely important. It is a matter of addiction survival. Most of the alcohol traders are out of stock, but some of the risk takers are continuing to explore ways which will keep them on the business, despite the lock down, the demand for alcohol remain high. The enforcement agencies made arrests for those caught transporting alcohol since the lock down. Law abider’s fear that they will be out of business post the lock down, remember that they are spend on the essentials on daily basis without any income.

For those drinkers who stockpiled alcohol shortly before the lock down, the reality is, the source has dried up, those connected can still drink, but now for some, home brewing became the new practice and it on the rise. Good for those who made Peace with the current situation and stopped drinking, they became aware that they are fighting a losing battle, they are showing positive signs for change, and South Africa needs people like them. What we are seeing now, is increased households spending, the money which is usually spend on alcohol end up being used on essentials. It is now month end and the people are on the lock down, thanks that many did not incur too much alcohol related debts this month I wish they use money saved during this time for strengthening families and beat Covid 19. Let’s stay strong Kuzondlula.