WATCH | South Africans go on manic booze run ahead of lockdown

It was an "alcohol rush hour" as people flocked to retail and bottle stores to stock up on booze before the 21-day lockdown kicks in at midnight on Thursday.

Customers were seen queuing, others left stores carrying boxes or pushing trolleys packed with various types of alcohol.

On Wednesday, the government announced the sale of alcohol would be prohibited during the lockdown period.

At a bottle store in Johannesburg, consumers expressed excitement, despite a few complaints about the lack of more money which could have seen them buy even more.

Friends Robert Mofokeng and Jan Motloung said they had only managed to secure alcohol that would last a few days.

A few bottles

"I bought few bottles of wine and whiskey. If I had enough spare cash, I would have bought more booze that would have lasted for a month and beyond. 

"I love alcohol and my wife and children know that. Liquor makes me happy and at peace. I need alcohol - I am going to be locked inside my house for 21 days," Mofokeng said.

Motloung pleaded with the government to give them a few hours every Saturday to buy booze.

"Home is boring without alcohol. What am I going to do when I am sober with nothing to entertain myself? Imagine a braai without alcohol?" he asked.

Thuto Bali said he had bought alcohol that was going to last for more than 21 days.

"There is enough food at home. My wife and I will be home and we will need something to entertain ourselves.

"As a law-abiding citizen, I am complying with the law and our movement has been minimised, but we will need something to drink when we have our braai," Bali said.

Last a few days

Mosley Sekati complained her movements would be under strict control and, therefore, she bought alcohol that would last her for a few days.

"I usually drink with my friends, but from tomorrow [Friday], we are not going to mingle and drink as usual. Everybody will be locked up in their homes and I will be at mine consuming liquor. I will only drink on weekends, not during the week, as I have extra chores to attend to," she said.

Mandla Khumalo said he was worried about the 21-day lockdown.

"I have a few whiskey bottles at home. I am here to buy more and extra beers to keep me going during the shutdown. I don't want to be on the wrong side, that is why I am here to buy in advance."

Tavern owner Tshepiso Mphahlele expressed fears about losing money during the lockdown.

He said his place was busy every day and his customers were going to be affected.

"Business is going to be down from tomorrow. I am going to comply with the law because I don't want to end up in jail. I am stressed because people will not buy anymore. I call on all South Africans to behave, so the lockdown can end quickly," Mphahlele added.