WATCH | Parched throats are being quenched as liquor stores re-open

  • Licensed liquor venues across the country opened their doors at 09:00 on Monday, for the first time in two months to allow excited South Africans to stock up.
  • One excited shopper was outside Ultra Liquor warehouse in Bramley, Johannesburg at 06:00 to try and avoid the queues. 
  • Tsakas bottle store in Alexandra said managing physical distancing was one of its biggest challenges. 

Many South Africans across the country braved the Monday morning chill, forming long queues outside bottle stores and licensed venues to buy their first booze since lockdown started on 26 March.

The alcohol ban was implemented to allow hospitals time to build up capacity to better deal with an increase in coronavirus cases. 

An excited shopper, Quentin Vickerman, told News24 that he and his friends got up early to get to the Ultra Liquor warehouse in Bramley, Johannesburg.

"We were here around 06:00. We thought it was going to be packed, so, we had to come in the morning to cut the queues. Been a longtime without drinks, so, we were dying there in the hood. This is our source of entertainment," Vickerman said.

Liquor sales are permitted on Monday to Thursday, from 09:00 to 17:00, with online delivery subject to the same times. No liquor is allowed to be consumed on-site.

Business development manager at Tsakas bottle store, Lerato Ngobeni in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg told News24 that they had made about R20 000 since opening their doors on Monday morning. 

More than 200 people frequented the store, to stock up on their alcohol supply. 

"Business has been crazy. We are just glad we are open and back in business," Ngobeni said. 

Ngobeni added that one of the biggest challenges was the long queues and lots of people, which caused difficulty in maintaining physical distancing.

"It's difficult as a manager because people don't listen to my staff, so I have to show up and stand outside and then I have to be queue marshall."

She told News24 that in order to adapt to the new normal, the business has started looking into selling its products online. 

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