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South Africa’s Tobacco, Booze Ban Lit Up Illegal Trade

A worker wearing a protective face mask cleans part of an idle bottling line at the SABMiller Plc Alrode brewery and bottling plant, a unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. South Africa’s ban on alcohol sales has put investment projects worth at least 12.8 billion rand ($742 million) on hold.
A worker wearing a protective face mask cleans part of an idle bottling line at the SABMiller Plc Alrode brewery and bottling plant, a unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. South Africa’s ban on alcohol sales has put investment projects worth at least 12.8 billion rand ($742 million) on hold.Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africa may have banned cigarettes and alcohol during its lockdown but, for some, the good times kept rolling.

While the rules were meant to help manage the health impact of the coronavirus pandemic — reducing alcohol-related trauma cases and cutting pressure on hospitals — they’ve allowed illegal traders to gain a foothold in the market.