Food and alcohol industries say they're not coping under lockdown restrictions

The industries are among the hardest hit and were slowly trying to pick up again when the COVID-19 third wave swept through the country.

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.

JOHANNESBURG - Having already lost millions of rands in revenue, restaurant and tavern owners on Wednesday said the extension of the harsher lockdown regulations would be the death knell for their operations.

The industries are among the hardest hit and were slowly trying to pick up again when the COVID-19 third wave swept through the country.

As part of the adjusted level 4 lockdown, alcohol sales are banned and restaurants cannot serve dining customers.

ALSO READ: Restaurant association lobbies govt for a 'roadhouse' operation

The food and beverage is industry recovering from last year's hard lockdown, with many establishments caving.

Desperate business owners said it felt as if they were back to square one. Naomi Ratsheko runs 1947 on Vilakazi Street, a restaurant set up just three months ago with 29 people on the payroll.

“So, that's 29 families that 1947 on Vilakazi is feeding, and that is causing sleepless nights for me,” she said.

Xolani Mbala owns a tavern in Mzimhlophe, he said his business would completely collapse if the current restrictions remained.

“I feel very bad because this is a place where I make a living, where I am able to support my family and my children,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Restaurant Association of South Africa is pleading with government to support and approve the roadhouse concept. This will allow customers to order food and be served inside of their vehicles, usually in an open space, such as a parking lot.

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