Alcohol ban and the cigarette ban affect way more than just hospital admissions in South Africa. As people start losing hope of businesses surviving much longer, fury mounts as people count the cost in job losses. In the case of the alcohol ban, that fact it got banned with no warning or dialogue with industry players brings a lot of unhappiness.
Factually, the complaints come from more than drinkers and smokers
What started off as drinkers and smokers complaining and starting petitions for the lifting of the bans, now reaches new levels of anger from those who don’t consume the products. Increasingly, workers in the industry and related businesses fear the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs. The restaurant owners also lose income, plus their staff. Stackers, packers, taverns and even the glassmaking industry suffers. It extends all the way to people who grow barley who now fear for their futures. Similarly, many people lost their jobs through the cigarette ban.
Bear in mind, that many of South Africa’s taverns are run by women. Without any consultation at all, President Cyril Rampahose literally took away the earning capacity for a lot of self-employed women. Yet, the government touts themselves as caring about the empowerment of them. Then, literally thousands of people, maybe as many as tens of thousands of jobs will be lost, The Citizen reported. And, The South African Liquor Brand Owners Association (Salba) questions the rationality of the National Command Council for COVID-19.
Fear of poverty fuels the anger against the bans
Referring to an article by Bizcommunity.com, @7ash_ley on Twitter cited some job loss figures. He wrote, “The sales ban threatens the livelihoods of more than 34,500 tavern owners, with a knock-on effect that could see more than 500,000 people facing economic ruin. If we can lift the ban so many lives would be saved. #”
Meanwhile, SA Breweries tweeted, “Due to the alcohol ban, 100 000 MT of barley will go to waste, affecting thousands of farmers like Maria, who keep us brewing. The ban affects the viability of every farm in our supply chain. We are #ResponsibleTogether to protect the livelihoods of all who depend on us.”
Unemployment could lead to many hungry more mouths, and possibly more suffering than COVID-19. One person tweeted, “117 000+ jobs lost due to the suspension of alcohol sales in South Africa in the last ban. Make a difference. Visit savemylivelihood.co.za now. Show your support, tell your story.”
Meanwhile, other people feel frustrated that legitimate jobs get lost while the black-market rakes it in. And, for smokers, even those people who weaned themselves onto very low nicotine by vaping now have no option but to smoke high nicotine and high ta,r low-quality illegal cigarettes.
What do you think about the alcohol and tobacco bans in South Africa? Currently, banned indefinitely, do you think it’s about high time the powers that be started talking to the people who run the industries that so many people rely on for an income? Sound off in the comments below.
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