The first customer to emerge from Makro Pretoria North with liquor shouts for joy as others in the queue look on.     Picture: James Mahlokwane
The first customer to emerge from Makro Pretoria North with liquor shouts for joy as others in the queue look on. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Cheers at liquor stores to those alcohol-free days

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Jun 2, 2020

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Pretoria - The cheers were loud for those who emerged from liquor stores first yesterday as other customers in the queue celebrated with them.

A group of customers queued outside the Pretoria North Makro and told the Pretoria News it felt like they were waiting to cast their votes.

They said it was about time they bought alcohol at reasonable prices instead of the insanely inflated prices by those who took advantage of the lockdown regulations.

Daniel Maesha said next up should be cigarettes; he said people were paying R1500 for a a carton of quality cigarettes and R600 for cheaper brands.

“I’m not not going to lie; we are extremely unhappy because people were making us pay R50 for a bottle of beer. Spirits were even more expensive, and as we were sitting at home doing nothing, it was hard to go without alcohol,” Maesha said.

Among those queuing to buy liquor were tavern owners, who did not have stock for their customers in the townships.

In Soshanguve, Lebogang Chabangu said he was under pressure to stock up his refrigerators because his clients told him they did not want stories or excuses when they came back from work.

“I deal mostly with low income customers working in the firms, so right now they are at work and they knock off at 5pm. Those are my loyal customers and they’ll be depending on me. I even opened a WhatsApp group to find out what people want,” he said.

One happy customer was playing amapiano music from his car while customers waited patiently in a queue to get their hands on alcohol at the Liquor City in Thorntree Shopping Centre.

However, liquor stores across the city were intent on physical distancing and sanitisation.

Some stores brought in extra security to help deal with the queues.

Tops at Spar Les Marais manager Henry Adendorff said they were so prepared to deal with the increased demand they would have stock coming in Monday to Friday.

“We are expecting Thursday to be the busiest and craziest day of them all because people will be buying for the weekend,” he said.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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