The department of Economic Development in KwaZulu-Natal says it will keep a close watch on liquor license holders, to ensure they follow lockdown regulations with regards to the sale of liquor.

The Level 3 of the lockdown allows the selling of alcohol from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays between Monday and Thursday.

In a statement the Provincial department of Economic Development says the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Authority has informed license holders about regulations governing the sale of alcohol during COVID-19 level 3.

They department say transgressors might have their licenses suspended for the rest of the lockdown or for three months. The department also said it will dispatch inspectors to randomly check if the lockdown regulations are adhered to.

Queues already forming at liquor outlets:

 

Meanwhile in Bloemfontein and other parts of the province hundreds of people have formed long queues at liquor outlets as the country enters level 3.

Outside Makro long queues were snaking around the store by 8am ahead of the opening of the outlet at 9am.

Some people on the queue says it has been a long wait to buy alcohol.

“We are going to buy something that we have not been drinking for so long. We are happy, thanks to Mr Ramaphosa,” said one person.

Under level 3 of the lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that alcohol can be sold only on Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm.

No alcohol sales are permitted on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays.

Traders will also only be permitted to sell alcohol for consumption off-site and the consumption of alcohol at the place of sale is prohibited.

On the West Rand, many alcohol stores have had long queues forming from as early as 6am.

At the Makro in Strubens Valley, the queue is snaking around the store, with strict social distancing measures being enforced.

Most of the customers who are at the front of the line are small business owners and tavern owners, who are here to stock up – to get back to business after more than 2 months of not being able to trade.