Snaking queues formed at liquor outlets in parts of the country, including Chatsworth, south of Durban. Hundreds of people braved the cold since the early hours of this morning to purchase alcohol, fearing that they may not get another chance soon.
Government has allowed for outlets to sell alcohol, only for takeaway, from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm under Level 3 of the lockdown, which came into effect on Monday morning.
In the video below, long queues at liquor stores:
Not many people are usually happy to wake up on a Monday morning and venture out, but this Monday was different. Excitement filled the air as people stood in snaking queues in front of bottle stores that were being strictly monitored for social distancing and hygiene regulations.
Hundreds of consumers formed a queue at a liquor outlet in Chatsworth. They say they are tired of paying exorbitant amounts for alcohol on the black market during the lockdown.
“Lockdown, it killed us for quite a while, so we need to drink, at least they opening up one thing for now. I think it will be of benefit for the community as well, the people will behave a bit, they will stay in their houses.”
“The prices of alcohol during the lockdown was exorbitant, for a quart of beer we were paying up to R70. I came here to buy my alcohol because we were paying extremely high prices, for a bottle of whiskey we were paying R600. During the lockdown we were paying R450 for whiskey and for beers R600,” some customers say.
In the video below, people stocking up on alcohol:
Some residents felt the need to stockpile because they didn’t want to be left high and dry if government upgrades the lockdown to Level 4 or 5 as South Africa fast approaches 35 000 COVID-19 cases and 750 deaths.
“The reason I came is that I actually don’t trust the government, I got a feeling they will actually close it down after today, so today being the first day I rather get in before you don’t get it. I’m buying hard liquor and beers and wine, I’m looking at a month.”
“I’m very very excited, I’ve got beer and everything now, during the lockdown things were very very bad, maybe I can come back tomorrow and buy more.”
In the video below, Gauteng residents flock to liquor stores:
Even those who don’t consume alcohol made the most of the lifting of the ban.
“So it’s my uncle’s birthday today, so this is like a birthday gift to him and he’s really excited that the bottle stores are open now.”
Even with all the hype, patrons and outlets ensured they adhered to lockdown rules and regulations set out by government.
In the video below, Eastern Cape patrons queue to buy liquor: