SA drinkers terrorised by the two-faced ANC government

Minister Zuma. Leading the charge towards sad sobriety

By John Fraser

Did you hear the one about the three ANC Ministers who walked into a bar? 

One tried to close it down, another to arrest all the drinkers in possession of car keys, while the third got merrily pissed.

If the Covid-19 crisis has told us anything about our government, it is that it is Hydra-like, with its many heads often in disagreement with one another.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who seems more sensible than some in his Cabinet, is nominally in charge, but one does not get the feeling that he is in control.

Although she denies it, Nanny Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who delights in articulating the government’s response to the pandemic, seems to be in the driving seat.   She is the face of the Soviet-sounding Command Council, and seemingly delights in droning on at media briefings – once in english and then again in zulu.

I suppose one should not draw attention to this unnecessary, time-wasting duplication, for fear that she will then insist on using all 11 official languages – turning each brief and businesslike media event into an even longer linguistic marathon.

These are tough times for SA drinkers, and every fresh rumour is also a knee in the groin to our wine farms and restaurants

This week we have seen panic-buying in the bottle stores and rumours of a reimposition of pandemic prohibition.

The rumours were denied by a government whose credibility is in freefall, but we have since seen further reports that the temperance twats are indeed at it again, pushing hard for a total turnoff of the tipple taps.

As one distinguished commentator questioned: “How can they be both so puritanical and also such thieves?”   Corruption hasn’t been controlled under the lockdown, so why is there so much focus on booze-bashing?

One voice of reason in the darkness is my DA chum Dean Macpherson, who warned that the Democratic Alliance “has been reliably informed” that there is a strong lobby within the ANC by certain Ministers to reintroduce another ban on alcohol as soon as possible.

“This group of Ministers includes Police Minister Bheki Cele, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,” he said.

Yet while the flames of fear and concern are being fanned among the drinkers of SA, the vast majority of whom are not the wife-beaters and drunk-drivers the ANC appears to be concerned about (as are we all), another arm of government has been actively boosting our booze industry – as long as the foul stuff is only exported to gullible foreigners.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the DTIC, whose duties include export promotion, has today been hosting a “Virtual Wine mission to South Korea”.

Does this mean that the SA government backs the beating of South Korean wives and supports drunken South Korean drivers, or is it that they think that South Koreans are much more responsible and well-behaved than their own citizens?

They can be trusted with booze.  We can’t.

And if the alcohol problem is so, so serious, why did they wait until the pandemic to tackle it?

There is some credibility to the excuse that booze and tobacco use will lead to more pressure on the pandemic-pounded health services, but does this justify the response?   Only if there is some hidden, temperance-tainted agenda.

With power should come restraint and responsibility, unless we are to be government by a bunch of bullies.

It is all a mess.    Mixed signals on this issue of alcohol have harmed more than just our drinkers (and our smokers are in a similar bind).

By making the clampdown on booze and tobacco so central to their Covid-19 fightback messaging, they have distorted the picture, moving the focus from the REAL challenge, of stopping the transmission of the disease.

This is why a visit to most SA stores or supermarkets is a scary, dangerous experience.  The message on social distancing is not getting through.

Why?  Because the main evangelists in our government have hijacked the anti-pandemic campaign to pursue their own ends.

And far too many South Africans are paying for this puritanical distraction.  With their lives.

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YouTube Post: ZA Confidential tasters unexcited by alcohol-free booze

Booze-hating Minister Zuma

By John Fraser

Just hours before the SA government announced it was lifting the ban on booze sales, the ZA Confidential tasters took a sober look at alcohol-free booze.

We tasted two wines and a beer, and not a drop of alcohol passed our lips.

We bought them all in Woolworths (the bottles, not the tasters): the beer was the Devil’s Peak Hero.   We also tasted the DE-ALC Chenin Blanc and the Lautus Savvy Red.

My fellow sufferers were Michael Olivier, Malcolm MacDonald, Duane Newman, Jeff Osborne, Chris Hart and Mike Schussler.

See what we thought by listening-in to our tasting, which started with a chat on the damage the lockdown has done to SA’s economy, businesses and – especially – the booze producers.

Rules, what rules? The butcher’s which ignores social distancing

Impossible to safely enter

By John Fraser

Ok.  This is not the first time I have been told I was wrong, out-of-order, unwanted. 

Although I have followed virtually every ministerial briefing since the arrival of the pandemic and studied most of the statements on the virus, I apparently know nothing about social distancing.

For what little it seems to be worth, I favour the 2-metre exclusion zone, as that is close to my height, and it is therefore fairly easy to judge if I am too close to another human being.

However, if you closely study the photo of the entrance to the Kings Meat Deli at the Lynnbridge Mall in Pretoria, you are likely to conclude that it offers a quite narrow opening into the store.

The chap at the entrance with the sanitiser spray device was standing just to the side of the door when I arrived and initially rejected my request to stand aside so I could safely enter.  He offered a social distance of centimetres, not metres.

Eventually, reluctantly, he made a small step away from me and I nervously passed inside.   More fool me.

Once inside, I headed to vent my fears at the checkout, where the staff are normally kind and helpful, but I was intercepted by a burly, aggressive butch butcher, who I assume was a member of management.   He was not carrying a cleaver and so was probably undercover.

The idiot told me insistently there was no risk at the entrance of the store, and I stood no chance of infecting others or being infected when entering his shop – as I would be “moving” and you can not catch Covid-19 when you are moving.  I suspect he has a severe case of butcher’s block.

The fact that one needs to stand still to receive a droplet of disinfectant on the hands from the charmless greeter, and would, therefore, not be moving all the time did not seem to have occurred to him.    Even if his dismissal of the basic principles of social distancing were valid, he stuck to his guns, made me feel like the villain, and was as welcoming as a tarantula who has invited a fly to dinner.

He then forcefully and unpleasantly asked me whether I planned to purchase anything -as if I normally risk life and limb to wander around displays of bits of dead animals for no reason.

When he had succeeded in making me feel very nervous and very, very unwelcome, I flung down my shopping basket and stormed out.

It may not surprise you that I will never again return to that store after the arrogant, ignorant and threatening way in which I was treated.  Which is a pity.  Their butchery is far superior to their manners.

However, we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic – and while this butcher’s shop is used to dealing with dead creatures, I have no wish to be counted among them.

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