from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – THE Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) has welcomed the lifting of the liquor ban as the country eased restrictions against the coronavirus (COVID-19) scourge.
Alcohol sales, which are the mainstay of restaurants, are permissible under the Alert Level 3 lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening.
This ends a four-week ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages, which was among the most contentious restrictions under Level 4.
It also sees intense lobbying by RASA bearing fruit.
As part of the reduced restrictions, non-essential establishments like restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres may be opened under the new level.
“RASA is thankful to President Ramaphosa, the South African government and the cabinet for recognising the devastation of our businesses, recognising the integrity of the restaurant industry and for supporting RASA in getting our voices heard in getting our industry to re-open our doors, lift the liquor ban and to get our beautiful staff back to work,” said Wendy Alberts, the RASA Chief Executive Officer.
She expressed the organisation’s gratitude to other stakeholders in government, the private sector and trade unions.
“The restaurant industry is still in the recovery process,” Alberts said of the sector that has borne the brunt of the restrictions that were first put in place at the end of Mach 2020.
“We need to do everything we can to keep our doors open, save the livelihoods of our patrons and staff and our health. We need to act decisively as we move into Alert Level 3,” she advised restaurants.
Under Level 3, the curfew is between 22h00 and 04h00.
Restaurants can only operate with a maximum of 50 individuals for indoor establishments and 100 individuals for outdoor establishments.
Alcohol sales are permitted as per one’s liquor license until 20h00.
RASA was formed in 2004 to act in the interests of South African restaurateurs.
– CAJ News