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[LISTEN] What Monday's booze queues say about SA's drinking problem

2 June 2020 11:54 AM
Tags:
Alcoholism
Alcohol
Alcohol ban
booze
Alcoholics Anonymous
heavy drinking

On Monday, South Africans formed long queues to once again buy alcohol after more than 2 months of lockdown.

These were the scenes at liquor stores across the country on Monday when the sale of alcohol was permitted again after more than 2 months.

Since the start of lockdown, it had been illegal to buy booze and those who were missing a tipple were forced to buy contraband or simply go without.

But what do pictures like these say about South African drinking culture?

CapeTalk's Aubrey Masango posed the question to Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council.

Customers queue outside the Ultra Liquors in Wynberg, Cape Town following the relaxation of alcohol sale restrictions on 1 June 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

It shows the high level of dependency that many of our drinkers have that they needed to get out there...they couldn't wait [until Tuesday]...they really needed to be there today (Monday).

Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit - South African Medical Research Council

Many of us do drink and many of us do so responsibly, but we do have a problem.

Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit - South African Medical Research Council

According to the World Health Organisation South African consumers of alcohol are some of the heaviest drinkers in the world and an estimated 31% of the population aged 15 and older consume alcohol.

Of that 31%, 59% engage in heavy, episodic drinking...so we're not a country of moderate drinkers.

Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit - South African Medical Research Council

I don't think this is a time for the industry to be marketing extensively around 'buy our products'...

Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit - South African Medical Research Council

2 June 2020 11:54 AM
Tags:
Alcoholism
Alcohol
Alcohol ban
booze
Alcoholics Anonymous
heavy drinking

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