The whole of South Africa has been dealing with a single problem since the whole pandemic started. It was investigated and proved back in March 2020 that the consumption of alcohol is the reason why many South Africans could get the covid-19 virus and they were absolutely correct. This was seen when the ban on alcohol sales was lifted for the first time in level 3 of the lockdown. The covid-9 cases skyrocketed in just a short period of time and eventually lead to the birth of the "Immediate effect alcohol ban".
This immediate ban was implemented 3 times in the country up to this point and the government finally did their research and realised that there is one common problem. It was the South Africans under the age of 21 that were spreading the virus so much accross the world and resulting in pushing the infection rate in the country higher. Just last year, many matriculants around the age of 18 to 20 attended a rave party and more than 100 of them came back positive when tested for covid-19.
There are more reasons that the government has chosen to explore this idea of increasing the legal drinking age. An article by Times live outlined everything in one news report and this is what they said:
"The legal drinking age could be changed from 18 to 21.
This comes after the Liquor Amendment Bill, first made public in 2016, is reportedly being reconsidered by cabinet as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Extending the drinking age in SA is one of the measures being considered to curb alcohol abuse in the country.
According to Business Insider, cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is in favour of the proposals.
“All of these I consider to be useful medium- to long-term tools to reduce SA’s high rate of alcohol consumption to be considered by the legislature in due course,” she said."
It is evident that the drinking age will really be explored by the government as there is enough evidence to support it. The Minister of Cooperate Governance and and Traditional Affairs Dr Dlamini Zuma has been one who spear headed the campaigns to have alcohol banned during this time of the virus and she made all the research to back it up. This time she is relentlessly pushing to have alcohol drinking age increased.
There are many things that will come with this increase in drinking age such as limited advertisement of alcohol on TV like they did with cigarettes. This decision, if taken, will be one that is permanent and might last for the whole South African history. It is obvious now that the virus has surely brought different perspectives to the country and it's leadership.
What is your take on the matter? Do you believe the drinking age should be increased to 21 as teenagers continue to be reckless with the way they drink?
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