SA Breweries has confirmed nine drivers were arrested and a massive consignment was impounded on Wednesday, but the company says it was moving it to a storage facility and it has the necessary permits

This after Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko announced the police had intercepted the cargo west of Johannesburg, fined the drivers and was tracking down the company’s managers.

Telephonic comment was not immediately available from SAB, but the company tweeted: “We wish to clarify that we regard the president’s call for lockdown seriously and appreciate the government’s efforts to safeguard our nation and its people.”

The company said it had all the necessary permits to move stock from one storage facility to another during wind-down operations.

It added it had been in contact with the Department of Trade and Industry and police, saying it had also appointed lawyers to assist the arrested drivers.

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In terms of the Disaster Act no alcohol can transported, purchased or sold during the lockdown.

Numerous booze smugglers have been arrested for contravening the act.

However, SAB said the alcohol seized was not for sale or distribution and was always in its possession.