WC restaurateur hopes govt will at least lift curfew to save industry

Streets across the country were lined with empty tables and chairs as restaurants participated in the 'million seats on the street' protest.

Workers from Hemel en Aarde restaurant in Hermanus take part in the "million seats on the streets” protest on Wednesday, 22 July 2020. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN – The restaurant industry across the country took to the streets on Wednesday to highlight the hardships facing the sector.

They want the government to relax the current lockdown regulations.

Some owners said that under the current restrictions they were running at a loss.

At the same time, the South African Government Twitter account had posted a tweet saying the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes would remain in place throughout the lockdown period – but later retracted, saying the information in the tweet was “incorrect”.

Streets across the country were lined with empty tables and chairs as restaurants participated in the 'million seats on the street' protest.

Restaurant owners said the alcohol ban combined with the curfew made it almost impossible to break even.

Several eateries have shut their doors either temporarily or permanently as a result.

Owner of Scarpetta in Woodstock, Ricky Turilli, said the past few months had been catastrophic. He's hoping the government will at least remove the curfew restriction as dinner services were suffering.

“By the time you get to a restaurant you arrive it's 7 pm or 7:30 pm, you have to eat and be out by 9 pm – you haven't had an evening, you haven't had a pleasure."

In Blouberg at Marine Circle, staff and restaurant owners came out in their numbers to protest the regulations.

And in the city centre, numerous roads were blocked as eateries laid out tables and chairs on the streets.

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