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South Africa

Lockdown reports: Alcohol is still sold at expensive prices

Timeslive has spoken to men who have been sourcing alcohol from the black market for both business and consumption and they have revealed that most people have not stopped drinking alcohol since the prohibition started.

During the interview with the men revealed that it’s not that difficult to buy alcohol but have to be alert of the police. They have also revealed that alcohol is very expensive and sold at ‘lockdown prices’ during the prohibition.

One of the men told TIMESLIVE that he’s selling Smirnoff 1818. “I usually get a bottle for R250 from my supplier and I sell it for R350 or R450, depending on who the client is. Myself and the other guy who is also selling, we usually buy a box that contains 12 bottles. We split the bottles and take six each.”

Meanwhile, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has called for the alcohol ban to be lifted.  BusinessLive TV spoke to Dr. Glenda Gray, The SAMRC president and Prof Charles Parry, director of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs research unit at the council. Glenda Gray told BD TV that this “What we saw was an interim ban, and a re-implementation of the curfew to try and curb casualties related to alcohol directed injuries”

“We need to be nimble. We have seen the impact that the curfew and alcohol ban has. So I would recommend now that we do have hospital space, we need to respond appropriately so we can manage both lives and livelihoods,” Gray told BD TV.

Until the government comes with a solution that will enable people to get access to alcohol for consumption and business, the illicit market will continue booming and selling alcohol at 2 to 3 times the normal price. People across the country continue to look for ‘Sgoti’ (A place where alcohol is privately sold, despite the prohibition) for alcohol consumption and business.

In some of the regions in South Africa, a can of beer is now sold at a price of a quart, and quarts are sold for 2 to 3 times the normal price.

At the time of this publication, South Africa was standing at 516,862 COVID-19 infections and 8,539 deaths.


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