Alcohol ban will lead to Prohibition-era gangsterism and deaths

As it lobbies for a relaxing of the alcohol sales ban during lockdown, SAB says the country should learn lessons from the Prohibition era.

Alcohol ban will lead to Prohibition-era gangsterism and deaths

Still reeling from the loss of 400-million bottles of beer that had to be destroyed this week, SAB is continuing its efforts to lobby government to allow beer and other alcohol sales.

The brewing giant has now warned that the country could enter an Al Capone-style era of illicit alcohol brewing and selling if the ban is not lifted.

Such an era would dramatically increase alcohol-related deaths due to unregulated brewing and distilling processes, fuel criminality and gansterism, create criminals out of ordinary citizens, and loose the state coffers an estimated R6-billion in revenue, the company claims.

Lessons from Prohibition in the United States

The so-called Prohibition era in the US, during which all alcohol sales were banned, lasted from 1919 to 1933. It spawned a huge illicit alcohol industry and fabulously wealthy criminal gangs led by the likes of the legendary Al Capone.

It also led to an enormous death rate from acute alcohol poisoning that was said to be more than 30 times higher than it is today. In addition, alcohol smuggling from neighbouring Canada and elsewhere created a massive industry that lost the US government millions in tax revenues.

Our alcohol-sales regulations are extreme

“The regulatory position taken towards alcohol in South Africa has definitely been on the extreme end of the spectrum when compared to lockdown measures put in place by other countries,” says Hellen Ndlovu, director of regulatory and public policy at SAB.

“In some countries where bans were instituted the governments quickly reversed them when it became clear that the unintended consequences were worse than the initial perceived threats. Naturally these consequences included spikes in illicit alcohol trade and deaths related to the consumption of unsafe illicit substances.”

Public acceptance of the ban has now faded

She warns that law that few people agree with requires massive enforcement if government wants it to succeed. 

“In the first weeks of the lockdown, South African citizens generally accepted the ban of alcohol sales in light of the initial high levels of uncertainty and turmoil. As time passed, the acceptance and understanding of the purpose of a prolonged ban on alcohol faded fast.”

She says the growing illegal sales of all types of alcohol at exorbitant prices, and the spike in looting of alcohol stores and storage facilities, has been widely reported. The consequence is that an already strained police force is now tasked to deal with additional problems, while the resulting legal further burden an already overloaded legal system.

What should be done next?

According to Ndlovu, a measured and considered approach around alcohol during COVID-19 is both possible and viable in South Africa.

“These measures can include limiting the amount of alcohol that can be purchased, introducing online sales, trading hour restrictions for stores selling for personal consumption, and opening up sales of lower alcohol-by-volume products only.”

If SAB’s plea is unsuccessful, could we see our own Prohibition-era tommy-gun toting Koos ‘Al’ Capone in his Golf GTi being chased by lawman man Elliott ‘Ness’ Nkosi? Let’s hope not.

Source : The South African More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 9 May 2020

This forecast is designed to be a quick overview of what lies in store.

Weather forecast, alerts and UVB index for all South African provinces, 9 May 2020

Weather data provided by the South African Weather Service. For a detailed forecast of your province, click here.

Warnings: None.

Watches: None.

Special weather advisories: None.

Gauteng:

Fine and cool.

UVB sunburn index: High.

Mpumalanga: Morning fog patches along the escarpment, otherwise fine and cool to warm in the Lowveld where it will be partly cloudy.

Limpopo: Fine and cool to warm but partly cloudy in the east and north.

North-West Province: Fine and warm.

Free State: Fine and cool to warm.

Northern Cape: Morning fog along the coast, otherwise fine and cool to warm but hot over the western interior.

Western Cape: Fine and warm, but partly cloudy and cool to warm along the coastal areas with morning fog patches are expected along the south-west and
south coast.

UVB sunburn index: High.

Western half of the Eastern Cape: Cloudy and cool with isolated rain and showers along the coast and adjacent interior in the morning, becoming partly cloudy from the north in the afternoon. The wind along the coast will be Fresh easterly, becoming moderate in the evening.

Eastern half of the Eastern Cape: Partly cloudy in the north east, otherwise cloudy and cool with isolated showers and rain south of the escarpment, but scattered along the coast. The wind along the coast will be Fresh south easterly, becoming north easterly in the afternoon.

Kwazulu-Natal: Partly cloudy in the north-west with morning fog over the interior, otherwise Cloudy and cool but warm in the north east. Isolated showers are expected in the south and east. The wind along the coast will be Moderate south-westerly at first otherwise easterly to south-easterly. It will become north-easterly from the south towards evening.

UVB sunburn index: Low.


Tweets by SAWeatherServic
Source : The South African More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.