South Africa’s Alcohol and Cigarette Lockdown


South Africa’s ban on alcohol and cigarette has brought about a mixed reaction in the country. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, countries all over the world have seen lockdowns almost everywhere. South Africa is no different; they, too, had their fair share of lockdown during this pandemic. In this country, though, not only do people stay home, but any exercises outside their houses are banned. Alcohol and cigarettes are also banned in this county. Residents are not allowed to purchase or be seen using these substances. This ban, however, has brought forth an impact on the country. South African residents have a lot to say in regards to the ban.

South Africa’s Ban Anger Residents.

The people of South Africa are angry following the alcohol store lockdown. Alcohol lovers have been left in hot stew. The sale of alcohol and cigarette is prohibited. The country’s lockdown is one of the strictest in the world.  The government says the ban is to help minimize hospital admissions. The health sector has no more capacity to accommodate new patients. Medical staffs are straining to attend to all the patients; therefore, care is below required standards.

South Africa’s new prohibition is being enforced brutally. Police on the streets at night seeking out anybody dealing or carrying alcohol or cigarettes. It is a deeply controversial part of this country’s lockdown.

Anticipated Economic Damage.

In South Africa’s wine lands, the prohibition is already causing huge economic damage. Economic advisers know for sure if the alcohol and cigarette lockdown in South Africa continues towards the end of May, it will have a material structural impact. South Africa would probably lose eighty wineries, three hundred producers, and fourteen thousand jobs in the country.

South Africa’s biggest brewery has been forced to dump an equivalent of 20 million bottles of beer. The ban on alcohol and cigarette sales by the government is logical and understandable reasons. However, the country is now many weeks into the lockdown. The unintended consequences of the ban are becoming starker and starker, more dramatic in communities in South Africa.

Evolution of Underground Businesses.

Poorer communities, in particular people, are struggling to put food on the table. Increasingly people are turning to some very particular crimes to try to support themselves and their families.

“The people are angry because the bottles stores are locked. Residents do not understand how other shops are open, but the bottle store is closed. People are getting frustrated indeed,” says a local female brewer whose identity is hidden.

The female brewer has more than forty customers in a day. Her day is usually very busy despite the prohibit. Across the country, people of all backgrounds have begun brewing in hidden places. The ban on cigarettes is also fueling an underground trade. Many of the frustrated sellers are young men.

“Communities now see us as gangsters because we have to get cigarettes from big gangsters. The police carry around big guns with them and do not trust anyone,” says a young man.

Some of these young men are ashamed because they know it is not okay. They would prefer having proper jobs, but the Covid-19 pandemic does not allow it. It is not clear when the prohibition will end. However, for now, the army and police continue to patrol the streets.



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