Western Cape Premier Helen Zille Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG  - Western Cape province premier Helen Zille has added her voice of caution to both retailers and consumers ahead of “Black Friday” sales which have over the last few years gripped South Africa alongside other countries each November.

South Africa has not been immune to the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy, the informal name for the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and has become a global phenomenon.

Zille urged consumers to be wary overspending, especially on credit, particularly in light of the current recession in South Africa, and also called for responsible retailing, especially with alcohol, saying liquor outlets should be vigilant in upholding the law and not selling to minors.

"In the past, we have noticed that “Black Friday” specials have been abused by unlicensed distributors to resell discounted liquor to liquor outlets, as well as retailers selling alcohol without checking identity documents and breaking the law by selling to youth under the age of 18," Zille said.

On Wednesday the South African Savings Institute also urged consumers to guard against reckless spending and buying items that they did not absolutely need, saying the country faced "major economic and political crossroads".

- African News Agency (ANA)