Durban residents wasted no time in taking advantage of level 2 of the lockdown as snaking queues were seen outside liquor outlets early on Tuesday.
Business boomed for petrol stations and local stores as nicotine lovers queued to buy their favourite brands of cigarettes.
However, along the North Coast near La Mercy Beach, windsurfers and paragliders could be seen making the most of the gusty weather.
In a bid to limit the economic hardships brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government lifted the restrictions on a number of business activities including the sale of alcohol and tobacco products.
Liquor outlets can open only between Monday and Thursday from 9am to 5pm.
Alcohol can also be served by licensed establishments such as restaurants, bars and taverns daily from 6am to 10pm.
These establishments can only operate with a maximum of 50 patrons as long as the health and hygiene protocols were observed. These include a 1.5m physical distance among patrons, the sanitisation of surfaces, the washing of hands and the wearing of masks.
Nightclubs will remain closed.
While some establishments had to turn away customers early in the morning due to stock not being delivered, customers said they had no problem travelling to other stores.
“We don’t mind the queues or the fact that we have to drive out of our way, we just want our cigarettes.
“We have gone months without a proper smoke, so what’s a few kilometres,” said Leroy Delis, who was turned away at a Tops outlet in Morningside due to stock no being available.
Johan van Helvert, 65, who was queuing outside Tops in Glenwood, said he had been “forced” to stop smoking during the ban as he was not prepared to smoke low-quality cigarettes for sale on the black market.
“I gave up smoking after 48 years. I started smoking in standard nine at the age of 17. I used to smoke Gauloises and then started smoking Mills because they were strong.
“I feel so much better. I can taste food and smell things. It’s amazing,” he said.