The Restaurant Association of South Africa on Tuesday said the alcohol sales ban and the curfew have had a devastating impact on the industry. Members returned to the Union Buildings in Pretoria staging a peaceful protest.
The association’s Wendy Alberts said the Presidency had received their memorandum and they remained hopeful the COVID-19 lockdown regulations would be reviewed. The Restaurant Association of South Africa said since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a total ban on the sale of alcohol in December, thousands of restaurant workers had been left without an income.
Alberts said that about 4 000 restaurants out of 11 000 restaurants nationally had closed as a result of the alcohol ban and 9pm curfew imposed in December and an estimated 500 000 out of 1 million jobs had been decimated because of the lockdown.
Alberts said restaurants’ financial models relied on turnover from alcohol sales to ensure businesses remained profitable and with no end in sight to the ban, restaurants were being forced to close. She said the sector had not received any financial support and restaurateurs had no funds to pay rent and staff as turnover had dissipated.
“I’ll be sitting at the Union Buildings until our president and government talks to us about how we can safely lift the liquor ban and the curfew and how we can support the slowing down of the curve. I am happy to sit there until curfew and again the next day and the next until curfew. I’ll be sitting there for days if I have to. I will sit there every day until we get relief,” Alberts said. #ladi_jaja?