Level 3: Liquor forum calls on bottle stores to act responsibly

Capetonians came out in full force to stock up on their favourite tipple. But stores are warning people not to panic buy. eNCA's Nobesuthu Hejana visited liquor stores in Cape Town. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Many South Africans were in high spirits on Monday when liquor outlets opened for the first time in two months.

But the Gauteng Liquor Forum has called on bottle stores to act responsibly.

It warned that if outlets don't keep strict measures, the prohibition could return.

WATCH: Traders and consumers stock up on alcohol

"We don't want to go back to that situation again," the forum's Phumzile Ratladi said.

"We want to keep trading, and to make sure our people survive this coronavirus."

Bottle stores are hoping to rebuild profits.

READ: Shoppers stock up on liquor as sales resume

Liquor City's Jean-Claude Duarte said the lockdown has damaged business.

"Obviously with us not trading, it has been quite damaging to the business and to a lot of families within the businesses, so the more customers the merrier for us," he said.

Some shoppers waited for hours to finally get their hands on their favourite drinks.

READ: Level 3: Consumers urged not to panic buy alcohol

Consumer Matthew Mphuthi worries the large gatherings prompted by the sale of alcohol may mean a return of harsher restrictions.

"Because do you see how many we are here? It's not only here, the whole of South Africa. Drinking in the yard, but as time goes by you leave the yard and go outside and travel to other people."

"That's where the problem starts. Then we're going to go back to five," he said.

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Liquor lovers rejoiced as bottle stores around the country reopened for business. Long queues were seen snaking around many retailers. But it is not only customers who are happy. Manufacturers who'd stocked up for Easter sales are relieved to be moving their stock before it expires and getting their employees back to work. Courtesy #DStv403


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