Alcohol and restaurant sectors urge govt to do more to help them recover

Restaurants Association of South Africa CEO Wendy Alberts said that they welcomed government's move but restaurants simply could not trade effectively without the curfew being lifted.

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CAPE TOWN - While the alcohol and restaurants sectors are satisfied with the easing of restrictions, they're urging government to do more to help recover economically.

The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption is allowed between 10AM in the morning and 6PM in the evening from Monday to Thursday.

Alcohol sales for on-site consumption is permitted until up to 8PM in the evening.

Establishments like restaurants are open and need to close by 9PM in the evening.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday relaxed the country's coronavirus restrictions to level 3 on 25 July 2021. Our infographic explains what you can and cannot do under lockdown level 3. Picture: Eyewitness News

Its been a stop-start affair for both the restaurant and alcohol industries over the past 16 months.

Restaurants Association of South Africa CEO Wendy Alberts said that they welcomed government's move but restaurants simply could not trade effectively without the curfew being lifted.

She said that they were disappointed that the needs of the sector had not been heard.

"We've asked to trade our restaurants to 10PM and have permits for staff. It's certainly a responsible way to promote the wellness of our operators within our business."

South African Liquor Brand Owners Association chairperson Sibani Mngadi said that the partial opening of sales, as well as three months deferment in excise tax payments due, was a huge relief.

But Mngadi said that they were nowhere near being in the clear.

"We call on government to be transparent on the scientific basis for decision to ban alcohol sales. They have not been able to clarify the reasoning behind limiting the off-consumption sale of alcohol."

The sector said that it was now time for government to sit down and work alongside businesses to define a clear and detailed path to economic recovery.

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