Umqombothi brewers are smiling again after latest COVID alcohol ban

JUST as during the previous alcohol bans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Umqombothi brewers are the only ones laughing all the way to the bank.

Mariam Moshiyane from Nkambeni near Hazyview said they were waiting for this and had stocked up so that their former customers could return especially those who cannot afford to buy from the back doors of the taverns, where outrageous prices were charged.

“Since the re-opening of alcohol sales, our business has gone down, but now we welcome the ban again because we are aware that not everyone will afford to buy the expensive beer but they will come to us. I am sure that the business will never be the same again because people have stocked up and they might have enough to consume until the president reopen again,” she said.

Meanwhile, Khethiwe Mashile from Garelani in Bushbuckridge said business started to pick after the announcement that some of the liquors outlet would only sell alcohol until Thursday. “I have managed to recover some of my customers after the president’s address and now I have no doubt that my business will pick up again. This time I have to raise some of the prises because the ban is for a short time so I will have to do whatever is takes to make money,” she said.

Other tavern owners who wanted to remain anonymous told NewsHorn that they welcome the short alcohol because they will be profiting from as they charge high prices and their customers were prepared to pay it. “Our customers will be knocking at our doors asking us to sell and they know that price will not be same, but are willing to pay for it. So to us it’s business as usual with lots of profit,” they said

Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, said anyone found to be breaking any rules and regulations of the disaster management act would be dealt with.

“Selling of alcohol or carrying of alcohol is not allowed in the country therefore we plead with members of the public to refrain from consuming or selling because if they are found they will be arrested” he said

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