Back in business: CT bars, taverns relieved after alcohol sales ban lifted

Owners of bars, taverns and restaurants said that it was a stressful 10 months with alcohol sales being banned and lifted at any time during the pandemic and lockdown.

Fanie's Place owned by Nomfanekiso Noqa Mgwayi in Langa, Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Taverns, restaurants and bars are trying to get back on their feet after being financially crippled by the most recent ban on the sale of alcohol.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced that alcohol may now be served at licensed premises throughout the week, while sales for off-site consumption are allowed from Mondays to Thursdays.

The latest ban came into effect from 29 December to help hospitals cope with an influx of COVID-19 cases.

Owners of bars, taverns and restaurants said that it was a stressful 10 months with alcohol sales being banned and lifted at any time during the pandemic and lockdown.

Owner of Fanies Place in Langa, Nomfanekiso Noqa Mgwayi, said that before Christmas she was fully stocked.

"We were thinking big that we'll be getting money, but it was just hell. I've lost beers and ciders that have expired."

The most recent ban dashed all her plans and the money she spent went to waste.

She said that small community-based businesses like hers were frustrated because there was simply no support from government.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town's CBD, Long Street businesses were also trying to get back on their feet.

Co-owner of R Cafe, Chanelle Grace, said that they had to consider closing down at one point.

"We borrowed money to stay open. You get to a point where you think 'how long do I borrow money to stay open?' but you've got employees and you try your best for them."

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