Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed to crack down on illegal alcohol sales during uring South Africa’s lockdown.
News24 reported that Cele is also targeting alcohol looters, who have struck several times since the lockdown began.
On Thursday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension of the lockdown by two more weeks. For more read: Coronavirus: South Africa Extends Lockdown by Two Week
The lockdown, which started on 26 March 2020, was due to expire on 16 April.
South Africa’s first case of COVID-19 was reported on 5 March 2020, when a KwaZulu-Natal man came back home after travelling abroad.
“Sober up – there are serious matters here,” Cele warned.
He also promised that police would act against those looting liquor stores.
Cele believed there were three types of liquor raiders: First, “spontaneous” robbers who simply took a chance and smashed-and-grabbed. Second, small syndicates of burglars and third, the serious syndicates.
He added there were also networks that were supplying certain facilities which continued to sell liquor.
Cele promised to crack down on these and warned their “infrastructure” would be confiscated, such as fridges, etc.
Struggling South Africa’s liquor makers want restrictions on the sale of alcohol eased during an extended lockdown.
The Beer Association of South Africa has submitted their proposals to open up taverns to government.
Amongst the organisation’s proposal is that government allow bottle stores and taverns (newly made takeaway-only) to operate between 9am and 6pPM on weekdays, up to 4PM on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays and public holidays, such as the upcoming Freedom Day, according to Business Insider.