As some would say, the return of alcohol has been long overdue. But with effect from 18 August, the alcohol and cigarette bans have been lifted.
Liquor stores, restaurants and bar owners are gearing to get back in business and serve what they know best: alcohol.
— Irene Moshidi (@iiam_riri) August 18, 2020
According to some media reports, alcohol queues were not as long as when the alcohol ban was first lifted. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lifting of alcohol and cigarette bans in a televised speech on August 15 evening.
It goes without saying that many people are tired of the lockdown.
The return of alcohol
The return of alcohol and cigarettes has been met with joy and excitement from the respective industries as well as people who enjoy them.
The alcohol ban, which had been earlier lifted, was re-instated after the government felt that it was contributing towards the increasing number of hospitalizations. In the end, this caused a problem as Covid-19 patients also needed spaces in the same hospital beds.
— The Author (@TiyiBevhula) August 18, 2020
Ordinary people are celebrating, calling this moment the second coming or season 2 of the lifting of the alcohol ban.
While the government had prohibited the sale, distribution, and transportation of alcohol, many people bought illegal alcohol at exorbitant prices.
The same thing happened with cigarettes. Such a situation only promotes an underground market in which those with the stock of the banned substance sell them at inflated prices.
The second alcohol ban, much like the first, divided South Africans. But the second ban was painful to most people as it came abruptly. As the president said, it was with ‘immediate effect.’
What remains to be seen is how long this period will last as the country moves to Lockdown Level 2. It is everyone’s duty to drink responsibly, look out for their health and that of others.
Some claim that South Africa has been officially opened. Others were fighting with their relatives over regular beverages. The situation is changing.
— Cellular ❁ (@Cellular_ZA) August 17, 2020
For some, life has just begun.