It seems as if beer and cider were the alcohol in demand.
IT WAS like Christmas all over again in Kimberley on Tuesday when the ban on the sale of alcohol was lifted.
A source at the South African Breweries (SAB) depot in Kimberly compared Tuesday to “Christmas time” as the demand for beer and cider apparently doubled throughout the Province compared to pre-lockdown figures.
Alcohol outlets in Kimberley meanwhile hoped that the lifting of the ban would allow them to make up for profits lost during lockdown, but many liquor stores remained relatively quiet on Tuesday.
The Kimberley SAB depot, which supplies the central part of the Province, said it was on track to deliver orders to its customers.
It is believed that SAB had to bring in more trucks as most outlets wanted their stock delivered “as soon as possible”.
Another source said that the current demand for stock was also due to the unlawful sale of alcohol during the lockdown period.
“If those outlets waited until the end of lockdown, then they would not be sitting with empty fridges now. They would still have leftover stock to sell when they reopened today.”
According to the source, SAB was planning to maintain its usual delivery schedule to retail outlets.
“Outlets that normally had stock delivered on a Wednesday will continue to receive their stock on that day, unless the additional trucks allow for faster deliveries.”
Many retailers doubled their stock orders on Tuesday, with both beers and ciders in demand.
But while the wholesalers were busy, several retail liquor outlets remained relatively quiet on Tuesday with little evidence of the anticipated long queues.
Bottle stores also appeared to have sufficient stock to meet the demand, although tavern owners reported shortages.
Several local tavern owners were accused of illegally selling liquor via the back door during the alcohol ban. Some were raided by the police and had their stock and cash confiscated.
Meanwhile, several liquor outlets expressed disappointment at the apparent lack of queues and frenzied buying.
“These who want to buy alcohol better hurry before their uncle closes us down again. We can’t allow all this alcohol that we ordered to go to waste,” laughed one operator.
Some, however, put the apparent apathy down to the fact that many people did not have money at this time of the month.
“Most people haven’t got paid yet. We will have to wait and see how it goes tomorrow as there are only two days left this week to buy alcohol.”
Another bottle store operator pointed out that customers were used to paying higher prices for alcohol.
“Those who bought alcohol on the black market paid up to three times more for their favourite drink. This 750ml beer, which costs R25, was selling for R50 during the ban.”
Others blamed the cold weather for the lack of demand.
One customer, who bought bottles of gin, whiskey and brandy, said he was very excited to be able to stock up.
“These are only starters to quench the thirst of the past three months of obedience. We are coming back tomorrow to buy the main meal,” he laughed.
He indicated that the abrupt ban had left most tipplers with no opportunity to stock up.