POLL | Did you stock up on booze after the ban was lifted?

27 July 2021 - 12:00 By cebelihle bhengu
Liquor outlets are allowed to sell booze under lockdown alert level 3. Stock photo.
Liquor outlets are allowed to sell booze under lockdown alert level 3. Stock photo.

The unbanning of the sale of alcohol under alert level 3 received a warm welcome from scores of South Africans after a month-long ban.

In a national address on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said licensed establishments were now allowed to sell booze for off-site consumption between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday, while alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 8pm.

Social media users welcomed the news on Sunday, but TimesLIVE has reported that alcohol retailers haven't seen a surge in orders online or in stores.

Store manager of Liquor City on Beyers Naudé Drive in Johannesburg, Raymond de Freitas, said not as many people came to buy booze as when previous bans were lifted. 

Sarette van den Heever, owner of online alcohol shop Wijnbar, said the store saw a decline in online orders. She said they could not pay employees' salaries during the lockdown and were awaiting payouts from Ters. 

“We weren’t able to pay our staff and we hope the Ters money will come through. If they can’t help us out, I’m not sure how long we will be able to stay open,” she said.

Ahead of Ramaphosa's address, TimesLIVE reported the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) said the industry was struggling and wanted the government to lift the ban on alcohol and ease travel restrictions in Gauteng.

“With approximately 60% of domestic travellers being from Gauteng — and given that the province is the central connective point of the country — the entire tourism economy in the country is negatively affected,” said TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa. 

“In the aviation subsector, close to 40% of travel is impacted as the OR Tambo International Airport accounts for over a third of annual domestic travel.”