They say wine is the daughter of the grape; a rose-cheeked temptress and seductress. Many have followed her never too return, says the writer. File Picture: Pexels
They say wine is the daughter of the grape; a rose-cheeked temptress and seductress. Many have followed her never too return, says the writer. File Picture: Pexels

Letter: South Africans' dependency on alcohol is alarming

Time of article published Aug 4, 2020

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Kevin Govender

While millions rejoiced when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced temporary increases in social grants and financial succour for the unemployed masses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, millions too will never forgive him for banning alcohol and tobacco sales.

His volte-face actions have left manufacturers, retailers and consumers in a shell-shocked quandary, a deadly blow.

They say wine is the daughter of the grape; a rose-cheeked temptress and seductress. Many have followed her never too return. Serious and toxic drinkers do not see the risk as their lives are led by the hedonistic pursuit of indulgence. Our mind-altering pathologies race towards the abyss of oblivion, acting out propulsive desires without thinking about our actions. We are architects of our own demise.

Our dependency on alcohol is alarming. Caught in a booze flummox, our words breeze out on a cloud of hope and malt, galvanised by the delicious repellance and infusion of alcohol as we tether toward oblivion - the anaesthetic of life. Who can blame the substance-dependent for being tossed around like pawns, like the false wisdom of a child flattered by the contrived confidences of a manipulative adult? They feel singled-out and cheated.

While the president’s easing of certain restrictions were welcomed with beaming smiles (alcohol unbanning), his comforting endeavours suddenly closed up like a fat-laden artery. Those who were apocryphal about the jittery Coronavirus Command Council whose decisions were swayed by research, science and eccentric politicians had a plan B, but many were caught with their pants down. Now they wait like Pavlovian dogs waiting for the dinner bell to ring.

But the dizzying, whirling and magical roulette on an insouciant and pell-mell society, so rich and teasing with possibilities, has proved to be a slippery wheel when it comes to vice. There is a cry of the heart for genuine ameliorative gestures and corrective remedial action in our lifestyles as a matter of urgency.

Kevin Govender, Durban

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