WATCH: Hundreds of liquor consumers, tavern owners at Makro Silver Lakes
Pretoria - Several hundred anxious alcohol consumers and tavern owners have been waiting outside Makro Silver Lakes since early in the morning to make their first purchases since lockdown started on March 26.
Mpho Mawela of Silver Lakes said she had been patiently waiting outside the doors since 5am.
The queues were so long that she only managed to get back to her car, armed with several dozen boxes of beer, around 10am.
She said there was a scary moment just before the shop opened at 9am, when the crowds pushed forward in a bid to enter the shop.
But security officers had the situation in hand and ensured that only a few people were allowed into the shop at a time.
“I'm excited that I can now buy my beer, which I really missed. She explained the many boxes, containing a variety of bees, by saying that she is not taking a chance.
“You never know when government goes back to level 4 or even 5 of lockdown.
"I am not taking any chances and I am certainly not going to run dry again. My husband and I are beer drinkers.
"We had no choice but to go without it and we made pineapple beer. But honestly, Its simply not the same.”
Makro workers meanwhile were also kept busy loading loads of alcohol on to the vehicles of tavern owners, who said they were relieved that they may now buy alcohol.
While things were a bit calmer at the smaller bottle stores, several patrons at Tops in Wapadrand said they ensured that they were in the queue before nine.
Christiaan van der Merwe protectively clutched a few bottles of expensive red wine under his arm, as he made his way to the till. “I am a wine drinker and I missed it. Government should have honestly allowed the sale of alcohol under level 4.
Wally Duvenhage said he is a “brandy man” and that will be his first purchase. “I am just relieved that we can now buy alcohol. It was a stupid rule to ban it. I understand the government said it is for our own safety, but we are all grown people.”
Beer seemed to be by far the drink of choice, with consumers’s trolleys loaded with bottles and cans.
One consumer said he still had wine at home, but he craved his beer.
He questioned how one could have a braai, without a beer in the hand.
Owner of Tops at Wapadrand, Henri van der Watt, cautioned consumers to stay calm as there will be enough for all.
He said it has been hectic from early morning, but he is confident that he will be able to help everyone.
As in the case of Makro, consumers had to wait in line and observe social distancing, while guards at the entrance took their temperatures and sanitised their hands.
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