Liquor sales soar, but police crack down on beach binge drinkers

2011-12-21 00:00

LIQUOR stores in KwaZulu-Natal will toast the festive season as they brace themselves for yet another bumper season, but those in Johannesburg may be left high and dry.

Said the manager of Pietermaritzburg Liberty Liquors, Craig Ellis: “From now until mid-January we hit record sales, but January 15 marks the official end of the silly season as we know it in the liquor business, when sales begin to dip dramatically.”

He said that in the hot weather ciders were the best sellers, and his store made up for its quiet months with record sales over the festive period.

Kelly Govender, manager of Toti Liquors, said the South Coas was overrun with visitors from Gauteng at this time and that beer, lager especially, was a favourite among the “Vaalies”.

“It gets crazy here around this time of the year and people consume copious amounts of alcohol — but just as quickly as it starts, it ends,” she said.

But the owner of Johannesburg liquor store Loco Liquor said that whenm the locals headed down to the coast for the holidays h lost business.

“While Durban stores must be enjoying great sales, I can only pray that we get busy,” he said.

To add to his woes, police are clamping down on motorists who travel with alcohol in order to limit drunken behaviour on the beaches.

Metro Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Eugene Msomi warned that roadblocks and stop-and-searches had been planned to prevent revellers from taking large amounts of alcohol on to the beach.

“We learnt that from last year’s incidents of vandalism and binge drinking, so what we going to do this year is that we are not going to allow people to take lot of booze on to the beachfront.

“We are going to set our roadblocks before the entrance to the beaches. All these people that are bringing alcohol on to the beachfront will be searched and alcohol will be confiscated,” he said.

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