What happens when a country suddenly makes the sale of alcohol and tobacco illegal? It turns out the answer is: quite a lot. Suddenly the trauma units of some of the busiest hospitals in the world are virtually empty, as drunk driving ceases to be such a serious social problem and bar brawls and other forms of interpersonal violence virtually disappear. That’s a great result. But some of the other effects are not so positive. In this episode, we look at the impact of South Africa’s lockdown ban on selling tobacco and alcohol: ranging from the difficulties faced by alcoholics, to the fact that massive criminal syndicates are currently enjoying the payday of their lives with tobacco trade driven underground.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.