The Restaurant Association of SA (Rasa) says the country’s move to level 1 of the lockdown is an opportunity for the industry to create new jobs and bring back staff who were laid off.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the move from level 3 to level 1 on Sunday evening.
This was due to a significant decline in daily Covid-19 infections in recent weeks, an indication SA had “clearly emerged from the second wave”.
Under level 1, the curfew starts an hour later, at midnight, and ends at 4am. Alcohol restrictions have been lifted, allowing retailers to operate according to their licences. However, sales during curfew hours are not permitted.
“The past year has been a journey for us all and the restaurant industry is the industry that has suffered the most,” said Rasa spokesperson Wendy Alberts.
Rasa commended Ramaphosa and other ministers for their “continued” interest in the restaurant industry.
“We have felt deep pain and hardship, and survived a close call in January as a nearly decimated industry on its knees and at the brink of collapse, [protesting at the Union Buildings] and calling to both our president and SA to help save our beautiful industry,” Alberts said.
She urged restaurant owners to follow Covid-19 protocols and regulations.
“This is an opportunity to open the entire value chain and this brings beautiful music back into our businesses, creating new jobs and bringing more of our staff back to work.
“I am pleased with this welcome news for us all and I hope we will continue to keep our promises to each other by doing the right thing.”