A nation of lopsided priorities

Godfrey Ngobeni, Khayelitsha

I’m writing this letter with a heavy heart because of the nation we have become.

I know many will not like my post.

It is shocking that we have become a nation that would rather get drunk even when sickness, disease and death is starring us in the face.

The world is at its knees but the only priority we have is alcohol. We have gone to an extent of even creating hashtags to petition the government and the president to relax laws so we can get drunk. Why are we not signing petitions for schools to reopen for the sake of our children’s education? Why are we not signing petitions for the government to give us free wi-fi so that our school children and university students can be able to catch up with their work with ease?

I see many supporting this petition ThePetitionSA,saying that there are families who depend on alcohol to put food on the table. What about those working in retail, real estate agents, car mechanics, Tupperware hawkers, hairdressers, event organisers, artists etc.

Don’t they want to put food on the table? Those who make such claims for alcohol please go give them the money you were planning to buy the alcohol with so that they can put food on the table. Alcohol is not essential, the industry will recover within a year after all this unlike other industries and businesses who are closed and who will never survive after this period is over.

I hear people saying , “What about those who are addicted”.

How about a petition requesting the government to arrange for rehabilitation centres to house them for a rehabilitation programme.

New born babies are without clothes as retail stores are closed and we are worried about alcohol. Children are behind with school work and we are signing petitions for alcohol.

People’s livelihood is interrupted and all we want is alcohol. Countries like Brazil, USA, Italy and Spain people are wrapped in plastic and wait for days to be picked and placed in the morgue. They are running out of wood to make coffins.

Families can’t locate their loved ones due to decomposing of bodies in overpopulated morgues and all you want is to fight to get drunk? I honestly believe some of us are happy with the lockdown because you thought it’s that long paid leave where you’ll just go on with life like it’s a festive season. We just refuse to stay home and obeying the lockdown regulations given by the government. We are thankful for leaders such as our president Cyril Ramaphosa and professionals such as Dr Zweli Mkhize and Professor Salim Abdool Karim for their efforts and putting the lives of South Africa’s first.

Fellow South Africans, the sooner we comply, the sooner all this will end and everyone goes back to their lives.