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Rasa sends legal letter to govt appealing for on-site alcohol consumption

Eateries will be able to reopen for sit down services from Monday with strict protocols in place.

Picture: 123rf.

CAPE TOWN - The Restaurants Association of South Africa (Rasa) has sent a lawyer’s letter to government appealing for on-site consumption alcohol sales to be allowed.

From Monday, eateries will be able to reopen for sit down services from Monday with strict protocols in place. It’s the first time since the nationwide lockdown was introduced back in March.

However, alcohol and buffets remain prohibited at restaurants.

The association's Wendy Alberts said their lawyer had written to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel: “Our attorneys have sent out a letter demanding we get a clear understanding and written understanding as to why alcohol was not allowed to be sold. We pay a premium for these liquor licenses and we would like to benefit from it.”

She said a number of restaurants would remain closed due to the ban. Government has one week to respond.

Meanwhile, several restaurants across the Mother City are gearing up to welcome customers for sit down meals with strict COVID-19 rules and protocols in place.

However, some restaurant owners have expressed concern as the consumption of on-site liquor remains prohibited.

Co-owner at Magica Roma in Pinelands Ezio De Biaggi said they looked forward to reopening with a number of hygiene measures in place.

"There'll be a printed menu that will be disposed of after the customer uses. When a customer leaves the table, we will clean everything... completely new table cloth.”

He said even though they were anxious that some diners would not be willing to eat out due to the coronavirus pandemic, a few regular customers have already made reservations.

In Sea Point, owner of The Shop Gabriella Knight said they would only open one night a week for now, as it is more cost-effective: “We had a 55-seater restaurant and with the 1.5 meter regulation between tables, we down to 22 seats. Hopefully we will be full every Friday.”

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