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New liquor laws: Booze on Sundays – What’s new?

So Mpumalanga recently joined a growing number of SA provinces that permit the sale of alcohol on Sundays. So what? Clubs, pubs, hotels, etc. have always been permitted to do so in terms of the respective liquor licenses, the only difference is that your favourite bottle store is now allowed to do the same. So that’s now suddenly a big difference? So the world is coming to an end? It would seem, at least in some circles.

Gauteng and KZN have allowed bottle stores to trade on Sundays for ages. They have not turned into latter-day versions of Sodom and Gomorrah. But, in Mpumalanga - judging by all the teeth-gnashing and chest-beating – the four horsemen of the apocalypse have been set loose across the province. The truth, however, is that the moral and religious foundations of the normal, everyday citizens of our fair province are not crumbling. We are not in danger of eternal damnation just because bottle stores are now open on Sundays.

Folks need to get a grip. People, if they choose to, will consume alcohol on a Sunday, just like they will do on any other day. If they choose to. It does not necessarily mean they are “good” or “bad” people, it is simply their free choice. The fact that, until recently, the booze they were planning to drink on Sunday had to be purchased on Saturday and can now be purchased on a Sunday instead, is meaningless semantics. The recent revision of the provincial liquor laws was long overdue and is merely an indication that times change and we have no choice but to change right along with them. Like it or not.

In a (vain?) attempt to forestall THG’s e-mail in-box filling up with a torrent of abuse, perhaps opponents of the recent change should ask themselves a few pertinent and related questions before setting fingers to keyboards: “When last did you gamble at a casino on a Sunday? Or any other day, for that matter?” If drinking alcohol on a Sunday, or any other day, is a vice – is gambling not also a vice?” First remove the beam from thine own eye…