Government is urging South Africans not to panic-buy alcohol, insisting there was no truth to the messages doing the rounds falsely claiming that a ban was imminent.
On Monday, rumours started spreading on social media platforms with voice notes falsely stating that the sale of alcohol would be once again be stopped.
Director general of Government Communication and Information System, Phumla Williams, said: “There is no such information. Currently, we are on level three and liquor stores are open from Monday to Thursday. We want to urge South Africans there is no need for panic buying.”
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety MEC Bheki Ntuli is concerned about an increase in road fatalities linked to alcohol use since the country moved to alert level three of the lockdown.
Sixty-three people have died on the province’s roads in the past week.
Ntuli said authorities would not take kindly to those found driving under the influence of alcohol.
Ntuli has called on residents to drink responsibly, warning that those who do not comply could go back to level five lockdown restrictions.
He has reiterated that the transportation of alcohol for home consumption is only permitted between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Thursday.
“At the weekend, there is no person that will drive around with alcohol. If you are found with alcohol, you are going to be arrested for that.”
Ntuli adds that the country could not risk hospitals being overwhelmed by alcohol-related cases before the peak of COVID-19 infections.