On Tuesday 25 August, a voicenote was sent on Whatsapp stating that the alcohol ban would be reinstated at 20:00 by the President. This caused not only Mkhondo residents to panic-buy alcohol but, the rest of South Africa as well.
It was evident that this news was untrue as 20:00 came and went and liquor outlets were still allowed to trade on Wednesday morning. But, after the alcohol ban was previously reinstated without any warning people flocked to the stores to stock up their liquor cabinets as to not be caught off guard again.
It is unclear where the message originated from, perhaps it was someone in the liquor industry, who was feeding off the distrust of South Africans towards the government, and saw an opportunity to make a lot of money on payday.
Unfortunately the message had a ripple effect and people reportedly spent thousands of rands to ensure they stockpile on their favourite alcoholic beverages. Some people even spent their grocery money on alcohol. The nationwide lockdown has caused great financial distress for many businesses and households, and many can’t afford to waste money stockpiling on alcohol.
There has been a call for the alcohol ban to be reinstated after three Metro Police officers unfortunately lost their lives after a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver. It is however clear that the ban on alcohol will not prevent the consumption of alcohol as it was still freely and illegally sold during the ban. Law enforcement must rather ensure they enforce the rules and regulations and remove intoxicated drivers from the streets.
At the time of print of the Excelsior News this was fake news but, it is evident it can change at any time as it did before.