PICS: Cape Town liquor stores lap it up as queues form
Cape Town - Liquor stores across the country eagerly opened their doors after being closed for two months due to the nationwide lockdown. On Monday, thousands of people flocked to local liquor outlets.
Kurt Moore, chief executive of the SA Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba), said: “After nine weeks without being able to trade, the industry anticipated there would be a high demand, and responded accordingly. We put measures in place to encourage social distancing both inside and outside stores.
“We used our various media platforms to request co-operation from consumers, for them to be patient, and to please observe social distancing protocols. Under the regulations, taverns and restaurants are permitted to sell alcohol for home consumption. This has broadened the distribution and helps reduce the need to queue.”
Alcohol sales were prohibited under levels 4 and 5 of the nationwide lockdown, but as the nation moved to level 3 the restrictions were eased. But the sale of tobacco remains prohibited. Under level 3 regulations, any venue with a licence can sell alcohol, but only from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm.
Thousands of customers made their way to various alcohol outlets on Monday and, it meant long queues and difficulty practising social distancing.
“We have assured retailers there is sufficient product available to replenish stocks, so there is no need for them to stockpile.
“The retail trade is self-regulating by placing limits on the amount of alcohol that consumers can purchase. Consumers are encouraged to buy what they need and not to stockpile,” he said.
E-commerce services are not allowed to deliver alcohol to customers. E-hailing service Uber’s food service sister company Uber Eats reported a surge in orders being placed online.
Uber Eats said in a statement: “We have seen a significant demand for alcohol delivery from customers throughout South Africa. Uber Eats is there to help make sure your delivery goes smoothly and stores and couriers do their best to deliver within the estimated delivery time. External factors like a busy restaurant or a surge in demand can sometimes cause delays.
“Eaters only get suggested restaurants/stores that are comfortable and confident that they can provide customers the orders they have requested to ensure there are no delays. Restaurants/stores that have an influx of requests can also go offline to ensure they can manage supply and demand.”@MarvinCharles17