South African drinkers can chill in peace on Tuesday after Cabinet was forced to deal with rumors that the alcohol ban was making a premature comeback this week.
A voice note shared on WhatsApp created panic across the country, with citizens flocking to liquor stores to refuel before the government could move targets again. However, we have to say this for those of you who didn’t hear us last time: don’t believe everything you read on social media.
Will alcohol come back on Tuesday? No…
Shadow Minister of Commerce Dean Macpherson has urged members of the public to treat these unverified messages with “extreme caution” going forward.
“I spoke to a very senior source at DTI who confirmed that the rumors of a drinking ban tonight are not true. Please treat voice notes that claim to contain information about government plans with extreme caution. We don’t need to panic right now.
You can also forget a speech by Cyril Ramaphosa
The reason this rumor was allowed to spread so quickly is that it went unchallenged for a very long time. For most of Tuesday, the voice note bounced off WhatsApp and triggered panic in many. It wasn’t until 4:30 p.m. that an official government source confirmed that there would be no further alcohol ban. Jackson Mthembu deserves credit for announcing the good news.
– Minister Jackson Mthembu (@JacksonMthembu_) August 25, 2020
We understand why South Africans were a little nervous on Tuesday. Alcohol has already been withdrawn from sale without notice this winter. Additionally, the ban has been in place for more than 100 days since the early days of the pandemic. This may have been fake news, but these issues are taken seriously when it comes to our alcohol.