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Picture: 123RF/VLADISLAVS GORNIKS
Picture: 123RF/VLADISLAVS GORNIKS

My introduction to alcohol addition was back in the 1970s, when I came across a car where the driver had passed out at the traffic lights.

By the time I’d got back from the nearby police station, the driver had been loaded into an ambulance with the explanation that he was a doctor with a “bit of a drinking problem”.

Your recent article was typical of dozens I’ve read about what a wonderful bunch of people that drive our drinks industry are (“Beer industry is creating opportunities for economic growth and job creation”, June 19). A visit to some of our lesser-known shebeens might present a different picture.

The beer business got fat and rich by selling cheap beer to millions of poor South Africans whose main aim was to escape their poverty. Nothing much has changed. Alcohol is the main contributor to SA’s appalling rates of road accidents, murder, rape, child and spousal abuse.

People have been drinking liquor for millennia. Governments everywhere try to control it while being addicted to the revenue is raises. It is common knowledge that large quantities are supplied to unlicensed and uncontrolled premises. Clearly, the brewers benefit however the product is distributed.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a drink, but I don’t accept the pious humbug pumped out by the booze industry’s PR machine. We’ve done a good job with tobacco, so why not get serious about alcohol abuse?

Bernard Benson
Parklands

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