• Shaun Bateman


President Ramaphosa’s surprise reinstatement of South Africa’s booze ban on Sunday night has been met with mixed emotions as various sectors debate the timing and lack of notice for industry and stakeholders.

Leading local ecommerce website said yesterday that, while they understand and fully support the intentions behind the new government regulations, they feel for their suppliers and the knock-on effects for themselves and the industry as a whole.

In a tweet following the speech, former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela asked why regulations could not have been passed on a Thursday night to be effective from the Monday: “Businesses would have been saved from incurring costs for stock that will not move for a long time [and] Thursday would be ideal because trading from Friday to Sunday is prohibited”.

Regarding the way forward now for etailers and specifically, Matthew Leighton, spokesperson for explained that all alcohol orders that were scheduled for delivery yesterday, Monday 13th July, have been recalled and they are in the process of receiving these back from their couriers. “We will then safeguard these orders until such time as we are able to dispatch,” said Leighton.

Regarding stock that the company were waiting to receive from their suppliers, Leighton says has been put on hold, meaning their suppliers will not deliver until regulations allow.

When asked what would recommend in terms of process for the industry Leighton said, “First prize would be the ability to continue to sell with deferred delivery, as this will enable us to help support those wine farms and other outlets that will desperately need the economic support. This was our sales structure during levels 4 and 5 of lockdown and, given the challenging situation, worked well.”

“All affected customers will be kept updated, and we will continue to provide clear communication as more information comes up,” concludes Leighton.