A number of businesses would be able to reopen under an ‘advanced’ level 3 lockdown, including sit-down restaurants – with a decision on the move expected on Wednesday, 17 June.
This is according to small business development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who has spoken to various media this week.
Ntshavheni told Power 98.7, that the decision to open sit-down restaurants again after nearly three months of lockdown, is necessitated by a lack of relief funds to support businesses in the sector.
“The impact on the economy was severe and we went to cabinet after the survey was done and said we don’t have enough relief measures to support small businesses.
“We are better off supporting businesses as they come back to the economy because now you are dealing with the viability of businesses,” Ntshavheni said.
South African restaurant closures are beginning to pile up, according to several restaurant bodies.
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) estimates that restaurants employ around 800,000 people in South Africa, while a new lobby group – the Restaurant Collective – says that the industry is ready, and desperate to open.
Restaurant Collective’s 12 members, which include Tashas, Signature Restaurants, Sakhumzi restaurant of Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, Piza e Vino, Ocean Basket and Doppio Zero, have a combined 512 sit-down restaurants around the country.
Fast food operators have been able to provide delivery services for some time, and under current lockdown level 3, restaurants were able to re-open on 1 June for collections and deliveries. Sit-down service is still forbidden until lockdown level 1.
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