Independent Online

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

PICS: Capetonians flock to liquor stores after booze ban is lifted

Restauranteurs and shebeen owners were among people visiting the Makro Liquor store in Cape Gate to stock up. President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Restauranteurs and shebeen owners were among people visiting the Makro Liquor store in Cape Gate to stock up. President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 3, 2021

Share

Cape Town - Alcohol buyers from taverns, restaurants and bottle stores across Cape Town’s southern suburbs yesterday braved the hot sun to queue outside wholesale liquor stores to refill their stocks after the president’s Monday night announcement lifting the alcohol ban.

The president said that trading in alcohol could resume under certain restrictions, such as the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption only being permitted from Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 6pm.

Story continues below Advertisement

Candice Brooks and Chantal Panti were among the buyers at Wynberg’s Ultra Liquor and had driven 30km from Ocean View to Wynberg to fetch stock for their bottle store.

“Before lockdown we hadn't had a recent delivery and so our shop was empty. We have come here to stock up on stuff we didn’t have and to replace things such as the red wines and beers which have expired.”

Brooks said: “We will only open our business on Thursday, and before we left Ocean View there was already a queue of customers and we had to tell them there was no stock. Our fridges were turned off and It’s not like they will buy hot beers.”

Liverpool Liquor Shop in Voortrekker Road. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Restauranteurs and Shebeen owners were among people visiting the Makro Liquor store in Cape Gate to stock up. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)
Alcohol buyers from taverns, restaurants and bottle stores across Cape Town yesterday braved the hot sun to queue outside wholesale liquor stores after the booze ban was lifted. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Meanwhile, CEO of the Beer Association of SA, Patricia Pillay, said: “The president has offered small businesses a glimmer of hope, although it may be too little too late for some.

“The situation faced by small business owners and craft brewers remains dire. Survey results from the Craft Brewers Association of South Africa indicate that 87.5% of craft brewers are still at risk of permanent closure and with zero targeted relief from government, this will likely become a reality.”

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said: “Thousands who rely on the tourism and hospitality sector, including those working in restaurants, at wine farms and other spaces, can now resume work.”

Story continues below Advertisement

The South African alcohol industry, which includes the National Liquor Traders Council, Vinpro, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, retailers and manufacturers, said: “South Africa’s alcohol industry has always understood the need to save lives.

"But we maintain that the regulations could have been implemented in a more targeted, less damaging manner that alleviates the impact on the health-care system and helps to mitigate transmission, while still helping to preserve livelihoods,” said the industry statement.

On the other hand, Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliances spokesperson Maurice Smithers said: “We are worried that the government has moved too far, too fast with the easing of alcohol restrictions.

Story continues below Advertisement

“Allowing on-site consumption outlets to operate Monday to Sunday from 10am to10pm dramatically increases the risk of a rise in trauma cases, thereby once again putting unnecessary pressure on hospitals, and in the further spreading of the virus,” said Smithers.

Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency
Alcohol buyers from taverns, restaurants and bottle stores across Cape Town yesterday braved the hot sun to queue outside wholesale liquor stores after the booze ban was lifted. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union national spokesperson Khaya Xaba said: “We hope that our people will drink responsibly in order to lessen the strain on our already overstretched health-care system.”

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said: “We must ensure that there are measures in place against alcohol-related harms.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Fritz said the Western Cape Liquor Authority had conducted 356 investigations into liquor licence holders who have contravened the National Disaster Risk Management Act’s regulations and the Western Cape Liquor Act between March 27 last year and January 29 this year.

Cape Argus

Share