Pub owners begged for alcohol by desperate customers

South Africans offer to buy alcohol at inflated prices
South Africans offer to buy alcohol at inflated prices
Image: 123RF/nitr

If South Africans are not brewing alcohol, they are begging pub owners to sell it to them.

Ace Ncobo, owner of The Village Lifestyle in Idutywa, Eastern Cape, said he has had to turn people away who were offering to buy from his establishment.

"I get calls and messages on a daily basis from my customers pleading with me to sell them alcohol at an inflated rate. One customer once offered to pay R3,000 for a bottle of cognac that sells at R500.

"I have had people offering R1,000 for a R400 bottle of whiskey and R500 for gin that sells at R134. Unfortunately I can't help them because I don't want to lose my licence just for a few thousand rands," Ncobo said.

Lunga Magxaka of Lunga General Jazz cafe in Port Elizabeth said he even had people who would stop him in the streets because they wanted alcohol.

"I always tell them that we are not allowed to sell alcohol during the lockdown period and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

"When someone sends me a message looking for alcohol, I respond by a poster of my vegetables business which is the only business I am willing to engage in at the moment," he said.

A 32-year-old woman from Randburg said weekends were boring without alcohol.

"We are forever indoors and there are people who are selling alcohol.

"I buy a bottle of 2011 red wine at R350 and it usually costs R80 at a liquor store. For a bottle of gin that cost R139, I buy it for R500."

A 43-year-old woman from Lotus Gardens, outside Pretoria, said she buys six Savanna Drys for R200 which is more than what she would usually pay for a pack of 12.

"I don't have a problem paying this much because it helps me cope with the stress that comes with lockdown. I would totally go mad without alcohol," she said.

This week, Gauteng MEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko said police officers had arrested four people for selling alcohol.

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