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Cape Town restaurants disappointed as alcohol ban matter postponed

The applicants want all eateries with a valid liquor licence to be allowed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption.

Restaurant table setting 123rf

CAPE TOWN - A group of Cape Town restaurants set to challenge the national lockdown regulations in court are disappointed that their case will only be heard at the end of the month.

The matter was set down for Tuesday but was postponed for two weeks.

The applicants want all eateries with a valid liquor licence to be allowed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption.

Owner at Chef’s Warehouse Liam Tomlin said the aim of the court application was to prevent a jobs bloodbath and a spate of permanent restaurant closures in South Africa.

“Every single restaurant that has a licence relies on that money; that's why we have those licences to sell alcohol.”
In court papers, minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma argues alcohol sales are banned to avoid over burdening hospital trauma units and save resources for the fight against COVID-19.

However, the applicants claim there's no evidence that consumption at licenced restaurants contributes to the problem and the business models of most eateries depend on alcohol sales.

The applicants ask the court to at least allow licenced restaurants in the western cape to sell alcohol.

Last week, the Western Cape government said there was sufficient health capacity to deal with trauma admissions and COVID-19 patients.

In court papers the minister said the regulations were meant to apply generally and protect all South Africans fairly and equally across the country.

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