Residents across the country have taken to bottle stores in droves to stock up on alcoholic beverages. This comes after a mysterious Whatsapp message started doing the rounds claiming the alcohol ban would soon return.
According to the Whatsapp voice note, the President is expected to announce the ban on the sale of alcohol will return with immediate effect from August 25. This voice note appears to be fake news.
There has been no announcement from Government that President Ramaphosa will address the nation anytime soon. According to EWN, the Presidency has denied the rumours.
#FakeNews The Presidency says President Cyril Ramaphosa will not address the country tonight or even announce banning the sale of alcohol. SZ
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) August 25, 2020
The DA’s trade and industry spokesperson, Natasha Mazzone has also denied the reports.
“People need to treat such voice notes with caution as they cause panic,” they told IOL.
Despite the lack of confirmation, it seems locals are still scarred from the last time the ban was reinstated with immediate effect. People were pictured standing in long queues outside of liquor stores, and showing off case loads of drinks they are stockpiling for the supposed renewed prohibition.
Long queues outside Nelson Mandela Bay liquor stores today, as a voice note circulated on social media alleged that President Cyril Ramaphosa would implement another alcohol ban.
There has been no communication from the presidency of an announcement tonight.
— HeraldLIVE (@HeraldPE) August 25, 2020
— Sechaba (@Sechaba_K) August 25, 2020
Not about to let Cyril catch us slipping tonight, alcohol ban reinstated or not we gotta stay prepared 🤣 pic.twitter.com/JuDsKgbAB6
— Sarah Pepworth (@sehpepworth) August 25, 2020
Tops at The Grove shopping centre, Nelspruit. 😣
The alcohol ban story, is it true? pic.twitter.com/JdAs7vskcF
— Thenjiwe Khumalo (@10GEE_Khumi) August 25, 2020
— I’m the Ghel (@JessieMags) August 25, 2020
Some are even theorising that the voice note may have been created and circulated by bottle store owners to increase sales, and they perfectly timed the release of the voice note to coincide with pay day.
Best sales campaign by the Liquor Traders , no lie 😂. Start a #alcoholban rumor on payday they know yall gon panic buy nd increase sales they lost out on.
If it’s true, Government is a joke. Coz they can’t enforce law and do they fvckin job they’re looking for a easy way out .
— #Clinton_Samps (@ClintonSamps) August 25, 2020
Back in the day the big chain liquor stores would have promotions to get more feet in their stores.
Now they spread rumors through voicenotes about a alcohol ban being reinstated 👀#staywoke
— Shane Geldenhuys (@geldenhuysshane) August 25, 2020
Whatever the reason, it’s clear South Africans are not ready to part with their liquor again.