The wine industry is the lifeblood of our province, just as gold mining drives Gauteng. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
The wine industry is the lifeblood of our province, just as gold mining drives Gauteng. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Good cheer as Western Cape gets lifeblood back

By Opinion Time of article published Feb 5, 2021

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by David Biggs

I suppose I’m more or less a typical Western Cape resident.

When I heard on Monday that our state president was about to address the nation, I combed my hair, washed my face and sat waiting expectantly in front of my television set. I was not disappointed.

Of course, there were many fine words for us little people to hear. Blah blah blah yack yack, curfew, opening hours, clubs and so on, all of which slipped past me without ruffling my hair. Then came the words we were waiting for.

“Alcohol sales will be allowed ...” and some more words. You could hear the collective cries of joy all the way to Zimbabwe.

Don’t get the idea that we’re a bunch of drunkards down here in the Cape, but the wine industry is the lifeblood of our province, just as gold mining drives Gauteng.

Many thousands of Cape people, ranging from university professors to stainless steel artists, coopers, pruners and labourers digging weeds in the vineyards, depend on the wine industry to feed and house their families.

I know there are drinks producers who’ve come out with alcohol-free wines and beers in an effort to supply a thirsty market, but it’s just not the same. I’ve bought examples from my supermarket and tried manfully to pretend I’m enjoying my regular sundowner, but it doesn’t work.

There’s no joy in a bottle of non-alcoholic booze.

Frankly, I’d rather drink a glass of honest lemonade or fruit juice than pretend to myself that I’m having a “grown-up” drink and saying “cheers” over the rim of a glass of nothing. To my traditional mind, that’s cheating.

We were told the incidents of violent crime were much lower during the alcohol ban, and that’s not surprising.

I’m sure the number of road deaths would drop dramatically too if car ownership was banned.

The answer to many of our social problems is seldom a total ban. Far more effective is education.

If we are taught from an early age about the dangers that surround us, we are better equipped to overcome those dangers.

Last Laugh

A man walked into a bar and ordered two whiskeys. He drank one and poured the other into his jacket pocket.

“Hey,, what are you doing?” said the barman.

“It’s for my pet mouse,” said the man. “He loves whiskey.”

“You get out,” said the barman. “We don’t serve weirdos in here.”

“You can’t throw me out,” said the man.”I’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Get out or I’ll call the manager,” said the barman.

And a small voice from the jacket pocket squeaked: “Okay, and tell him to bring his stupid cat with him.”

Cape Argus

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