LIVE UPDATES | 'We're done smoking horrible brands': SA on cigarette, booze sales

18 August 2020 - 06:13 By TimesLIVE

August 18 2020 - 15:06

Shisanyama employees grateful to be back at work in lockdown level 2

The Covid-19 lockdown wiped out their income in one go, leaving them without wages for five months. Now staff at a Pretoria shisanyama are preparing to balance hygiene protocols and a night-time curfew as they prepare to reopen under level 2.

Staff were mopping floors and stacking chairs in preparation of their return to trade, while devising a shift roster, when TimesLIVE visited.

“Today we are just busy cleaning. We are preparing to open — we might open on Thursday,” said manager Eric Sibande.

 'It's been a roller-coaster ride': bottle stores get back to business

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August 18 2020 - 14:29

'We're done smoking horrible brands': SA on cigarette, booze sales

“This is my favourite brand. This is what we have been waiting for,” said a Cape Town resident who was the first customer to buy two boxes of cigarettes.

From Tuesday, the tobacco and liquor industries breathed sighs of relief as South Africans were allowed to buy their favourite alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

It was a good day for the tobacco industry as the lifting of a five-month ban on sales put an end to the surge in the black market trade in cigarettes.

August 18 2020 - 13:52

'We're done smoking horrible brands': SA on cigarette, booze sales

“This is my favourite brand. This is what we have been waiting for,” said a Cape Town resident who was the first customer to buy two boxes of cigarettes.

From Tuesday, the tobacco and liquor industries breathed sighs of relief as South Africans were allowed to buy their favourite alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

It was a good day for the tobacco industry as the lifting of a five-month ban on sales put an end to the surge in the black market trade in cigarettes.

August 18 2020 - 13:52

Slow booze sales in Soweto, staff hope people drink responsibly to avoid another ban

The first day of alcohol sales under level 2 regulations started slowly in Soweto, with only a handful of people heading out to purchase their favourite beverages.

The Liquor City in Pimville had served about 20 people by midday, and this was “rare”, said a staff member who asked not to be identified. The liquor bought included gin, beer and ciders.

Mpumelelo Zondi was one of the first to purchase a case of beer.

“I am really happy. These last weeks have been hard for some of us. We spent crazy money on booze [purchasing on the black market],” he told TimesLIVE.

August 18 2020 - 13:42

'It’s been tough': Tavern owner sells car to stock up on alcohol

A tavern owner, whose business took a hard knock during the lockdown, has sold his car to stock up on alcohol.

“The alcohol ban has affected my business big time. It took us to zero,” Abraham Mkhabela told TimesLIVE.

“But I don’t blame the governing processes, because at the end of the day it was about saving our brothers' and sisters' lives. We hope government will come with better solutions for us to pick up our businesses,” said Mkhabela.

August 18 2020 - 13:00

People are seen buying alcohol at Liquor City in Northcliff, Johannesburg. 

August 18 2020 - 12:39

Retailers ready as Durban customers flood in for cigarettes and alcohol

Umlazi resident Portia Mvuyana drove more than 20km to a large liquor outlet in Durban so she could stockpile alcohol “in peace”.

August 18 2020 - 12:12

Shop until you drop: Pick n Pay not limiting booze, cigarette purchases

Supermarket chain Pick n Pay said there will be no limit on how much liquor and tobacco customers can buy.

On Tuesday, SA moved to lockdown level 2 and the bans on alcohol and tobacco product sales were lifted.

Licensed outlets are allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 5pm. Licensed liquor establishments are allowed to host 50 people at a time and must observe Covid-19 safety protocols.

August 18 2020 - 12:05

Customer and friends shell out R20,000 on alcohol - just to be safe

A Johannesburg man spent more than R20,000 on his favourite whisky and rum on the first day of the resumption of alcohol sales.

“I feel great today now that the ban has been lifted,” Gordan Human told TimesLIVE at Makro in Strubens Valley on a cloudy Tuesday morning.

Human’s trolley was packed with bottles of Bell's whisky and Red Heart rum, his favourite brands.

August 18 2020 - 11:33

Illicit alcohol and cigarettes will still exist after ban, says new research

As many South Africans took their first puff of a legally bought cigarette on Tuesday morning, others will stick to the cheaper illicit brands.

This is according to market research from Euromonitor, which predicts that the illicit cigarette and alcohol trade will still exist despite the lifting of the ban on sales.

“The news of the ban being lifted on the sale of alcohol and tobacco is a welcome relief for the respective industries and consumers alike. Unfortunately, the illicit trade activities in alcohol and tobacco have thrived over the lockdown with illicit traders establishing their supply networks. These networks will still be present for some time to come as the industry catches up on production and consumer sales.

August 18 2020 - 11:20

Illicit cigarette seller says business was good while it lasted

Not everyone  is celebrating the reopening of cigarettes sales.

*Sabelo Radebe said for him it means the end of a thriving business selling loose cigarettes for ballooned prices.

“I was selling loose cigarettes for R5 each and it was going well,” he told TimesLIVE.

“I was going through a few boxes every day, but now things will definitely slow down. It hasn't been that busy this morning,” he said.

He was back to selling a loose cigarette for R3.

August 18 2020 - 10:28

Chriss Erusmus Seen pushing a trolly of cigarette at Makro Woodmead on Tuesday.
Chriss Erusmus Seen pushing a trolly of cigarette at Makro Woodmead on Tuesday.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/~The Sunday Times

August 18 2020 - 10:22

Gordon Human spent over R20 000 to stock up on his favorite whiskeys and rum at the Strubensvalley Makro liquor store on the first day of Covid-19 level 2 lockdown.
Gordon Human spent over R20 000 to stock up on his favorite whiskeys and rum at the Strubensvalley Makro liquor store on the first day of Covid-19 level 2 lockdown.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

August 18 2020 - 10:19

A kiss for much-missed smokes

Theresa Thompson was so excited to purchase her first legal pack of cigarettes that she kissed the box.

Making her way out of the Tops establishment in Roodepoort, she said she had “lost too much money” buying illegal cigarettes.

“I felt so sorry for pensioners and other people who were not working because these [illicit cigarettes] were just so expensive,” she said.

Sheldon Fortoen gave some idea of how much it cost him to buy illegal cigarettes over the last few months.

August 18 2020 - 9:27

'It is going to save my pocket & I don’t feel like a criminal any more': A happy smoker

“At the rate that we are currently going, our cigarette stock won’t last us till 9am,” a manager at a Spar in Honeydew said on Tuesday morning, the first day of the resumption of cigarettes sales on day 144 of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The manager, who asked not to be named, said since 7am more than the usual shoppers have been flocking to the store.

“Look around, you see all these people that are coming in, they are all just coming for cigarettes.

August 18 2020 - 9:26

A line for liquor builds up slowly outside Makro Durban. 

A line for liquor builds up slowly outside Makro Durban.
A line for liquor builds up slowly outside Makro Durban.
Image: Suthentira Govender

August 18 2020 - 9:25

Bulk cigarette buyers line up for stock at Makro Durban.

August 18 2020 - 9:25

Canadian ex-pat Michael Braun is relieved he no longer has to make home brewed beer. He was in the liquor line outside Makro Durban this morning to stock up.

August 18 2020 - 9:22

David Layton gives off a big smile outside Holden Tops liquor store on Durban's iconic Florida Road. He said he paid more for whiskey and beers than he normally would have, while cigarette prices remained somewhat the same.

David Layton gives off a big smile outside Holden Tops liquor store on Durban's iconic Florida Road.
David Layton gives off a big smile outside Holden Tops liquor store on Durban's iconic Florida Road.
Image: Orrin Singh

August 18 2020 - 9:00

Wine store in Parkhurst just opened and waiting for business.

Wine store in Parkhurst just opened and waiting for business.
Wine store in Parkhurst just opened and waiting for business.
Image: Alex Patrick

August 18 2020 - 9:00

Craighall liquor city just opened and stocking up on booze.

Craighall liquor city just opened and stocking up on booze.
Craighall liquor city just opened and stocking up on booze.
Image: Alex Patrick

August 18 2020 - 9:12

'It's like Christmas': Thirsty South Africans are here for the sale of booze

The announcement came as a pleasant surprise for many, especially after the sale of liquor was abruptly halted in July "with immediate effect” after having been resumed for a brief period after an initial ban under the lockdown. 

August 18 2020 - 8:58

Liquor trucks dropping off stock in Cape Town. 

August 18 2020 - 8:50 

Customers queue outside Strubens Valley Makro , awaiting the opening of the store while staff ensure that  the  trolleys are sanitised.

August 18 2020 - 8:41

August 18 2020 - 8:12

August 18 2020 - 8:00

Queues are beginning to build up outside Liberty Liquors in Durban. Some "thirsty" buyers have been lining up since 6:30am, eagerly awaiting for the doors to open.
Queues are beginning to build up outside Liberty Liquors in Durban. Some "thirsty" buyers have been lining up since 6:30am, eagerly awaiting for the doors to open.
Image: Suthentira Govender

August 18 2020 - 6:38

Gin & guaped orders: Booze sellers scramble to meet thirsty orders ahead of Tuesday rush

Online alcohol outlets saw a massive influx of thirsty citizens flocking to their sites to place pre-orders after President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed booze sales would be allowed.

From Tuesday, SA moved to lockdown level 2, and prohibitions on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products have been lifted.

Alcohol is permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments until 10pm. Liquor outlets are allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm. E-commerce deliveries (but not orders) are subject to the same days and times.

August 18 2020 - 6:30

Taverns ready to sell booze after months of no income

Local taverns and bottle stores are preparing to open their doors under eased level 2 lockdown laws — and they say they are ready.

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that taverns and bars may sell booze up to the 10pm curfew.

The lifting of the alcohol ban has been met with mixed emotions. Nhlanhla Shabalala, manager of Toto’s liquor in Diepkloof, Soweto, said he welcomed the decision — but said the two bans had crippled the business.

August 18 2020 - 6:30

August 18 2020 - 6:00

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