I would love to hear a proper debate about alcohol and its ban during lockdown. I would love to hear how alcohol is the sharpest and clearest tool for understanding class and race in South Africa.
Alcohol and its production cannot be separated out from oppressive Apartheid history. Alcohol is one of the most prominent features of financial slavery, and difference of its use and abuse in different classes of society reflects the story.
The dop system, still in operation on many wine farms, has been explored in all its horror, but what isn’t always in discussion is how alcohol has made slaves of the poor and disenfranchised all over the country.
When the middle class complain on social media of running out of gin and red wine this is an entirely different scenario from the ones played out in our poor communities.
Alcohol is a legal but powerful drug. Its abuse in South Africa is a pandemic of its own. Because it is legal the bullshit about it being able to be used responsibly by consumers is peddled (albeit weakly) in tiny fine print in its ads that show a glamorous and false lifestyle, unattainable to most. The reality is that alcohol is a poison that increases aggression which destroys families and is a contributing factor in GBV and even murder.
Alcohol is big business, huge business at the expense of the poor. And it is slavery.
And during lockdown I have been so pissed off by the complete bullshit of SAB adverts about unity on Twitter. Sies and tsek.