After a two-month “drought”, people said they were moeg of paying “ridiculous” prices for black market bottles and were ready to go legal again.
Queues were seen snaking outside Spar Tops Liquor Store in the CBD, the Pick 'n Pay liquor store in Philippi, and Makro in Ottery, while traffic came to a standstill as motorists slowed down to take photos of the lines outside Ultra Liquors in Parow.
At Spar Tops in Adderley Street, the queue went around the block.
An irate Emlyn Grant who doesn’t drink said : "This is pathetic, how can people stand in a long line for alcohol this early and this long.”
There were cheers all around on 24 May when President Cyril Ramaphosa lifted the ban and said that retailers would be able to sell dop again.
You can now buy liquor from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm.
Alcohol would be sold for “home consumption only” under strict conditions on specified days and for limited hours,” Ramaphosa announced.
Meanwhile, the ban on entjies sales remains in Level 3 due to the health risks associated with smoking.
Dagbreek Liquors owner William Goliath says mense started lining up in his parking lot from 7am in order to avoid long queues, despite a thick mist that descended.
“There were about 40 people in line by 9am, the rest of the early birds sat in their cars.”
Goliath says they have a strict procedure when people enter the store.
“Day one was successful, we’re still getting used to the new way (of doing business), sanitising and screening, no mask no entry and then we are also practising safe social distancing,” he says.
“We also implemented the pre-order system where you place your order a day before via WhatsApp and then just swipe upon collection of your order,” he adds.
He says like so many others, his business suffered when lockdown was implemented and it will take some time to get back on his feet.
While many people were too skaam to be interviewed, customer Roxanne Green, 32, from Harmony Village said she is one of those who pre-ordered.
“I’m so happy the ban was lifted because in lockdown we had to pay ridiculous prices for our alcohol.
“Today we got to pay the normal prices. I ordered on WhatsApp and didn’t have to stand in a long queue.
“I spent R1000 today,” she says.
An equally happy Selwyn Philander, 27, from Mitchells Plain bought a case of beer, a bottle and a box of wine and slammed the government for banning dop.
“They shouldn’t have banned the alcohol. The whiskey you drink might have killed the virus inside you,” he reckons.
“Today feels like New Year’s Day.”