Alcohol ban: Restaurant Association to protest at Union Building
With government having lauded the effects of the alcohol ban, it remains to be seen whether they will positively respond to the restaurant industry’s call
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) is set to stage a sit-in at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday, January 25, 2021, over the alcohol ban.
Like the liquor sector, the restaurant industry is up in arms over the controversial alcohol ban, arguing that it is leading to further job cuts. The association is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene, so as to avoid a jobs bloodbath in the industry. While restaurants remain open, they are prohibited from selling alcohol.
Speaking to the SABC, the association’s Wendy Alberts said as a result of the ban, more and more restaurants are permanently closing shop. Alberts is concerned that the situation may worsen, should the alcohol ban, in its current form, continue.
“It is a very, very emotional, very devastating time for our industry as many of these restaurants will never ever be able to open and if we don’t do something immediately,we’re going to stand the chance of losing more and more restaurants every day,” she said.
Restaurant Association wants a ‘workable solution’ to end the alcohol ban
Alberts has reiterated that as the industry, they are committed to ensuring that they curb the spread of COVID-19, while also seeing the alcohol ban being lifted.
Under level 3 of the lockdown, the sale and on-site consumption of alcohol is strictly not allowed.
“We need to have conversations with government. We need to let them hear the voice of the restaurants, of the industry, of the restaurateurs and find a viable, workable solution that we can collaborate in both supporting government, in slowing down the curve, in being responsible, in executing all the protocols, in adhering to the regulations and finding ways that have the least impact on our industry,” she said.
For now, it seems the government is set on seeing the alcohol ban through, as the restrictions seems to have paid off, as hospitals have reported a decline in alcohol-related ailments, which makes them better equipped to handle a flurry of COVID-19 cases.
As of Monday, 25 January 2021, the country has recorded 1 412 986 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.
According to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Shadow Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Dean Macpherson, 165 000 jobs have so far been lost in the country, due to the alcohol ban.