WATCH | 'We encourage drinking, it's our livelihood': Behind the scenes as liquor lockdown ends
President Cyril Ramaphosa ushered in the country's move to lockdown alert level 2 on Tuesday, lifting bans on travel between provinces and the sale of alcohol and tobacco products.
The easing from level 3 was effective from midnight on Monday night, with trading in liquor and cigarettes resuming on Tuesday morning.
The president's announcement came on day 142 of the nationwide lockdown. The government is now confident that easing restrictions will no longer undermine health infrastructure.
As expected, South Africans wasted no time in getting their booze and smokes at dawn on Tuesday.
For Charl Van Rooy, owner of Liquor City Groenkloof, in Pretoria, this day means more than just alcohol and cigarettes being available again. It also brings security, an income, the ability to get out of the house and put food on the table for many people.
“Being able to look after our employees during this time is very important,” he said.
Van Rooy said by the close of business on Tuesday, his bottle store had done 800% better than an average Tuesday before the lockdown.
Although business was not quite as good as on June 1, when the previous alcohol ban was lifted, he said he was still extremely happy.
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