• Government unexpectedly banned the sale of alcohol on Sunday evening.
  • The sudden suspension of alcohol sales left online orders in limbo.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa unexpectedly banned alcohol sales on Sunday evening – with immediate effect - to help curb trauma cases, which is putting additional pressure on hospitals that are struggling to cope with an influx of coronavirus patients.

The same night, new regulations were gazetted, which prohibited the sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor. The transport of liquor was also banned – except in some cases, for example exports or where alcohol companies are moving the product to storage facilities.

Government gazette, 12 July

For anyone who was still waiting for an online order of alcohol, this means that they will only receive their order after the ban is lifted - because it's illegal to deliver alcohol to you. 

“We imagine you are all as dismayed as we are after receiving the news that the nationwide alcohol ban has been reinstated with immediate effect,” large online wine seller CyberCellar said in an email to customers. “Unfortunately this has completely disrupted our operations and means that we are not permitted to deliver orders until such a time that the ban lifts.”

The company says it is “working to manage [its[ warehouse inventory to make sure that all orders already in process or placed now can be delivered as soon as the ban lifts.” The company, which is sure to take a financial knock due to the ban, says you can support it by not cancelling your order, or buying a gift card.

“We thank you for the valued support in these unpredictable times and share your frustrations,” said CyberCellar. “We will get through this together. And when we do, there will be wine. Plenty of wine.”

(Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley)

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