Informal traders, hospitality businesses in Eastern Cape hard-hit by beach closures

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The closure of Eastern Cape beaches in December has hit informal traders and hospitality establishments.

Bed and Breakfast owners are reporting a drop in bookings through December by as much as 25%.

Nandipha Ngoqo says she lost two big bookings when the country reverted to Alert Level 3 lockdown.

“Since the beginning of this second lockdown, the problem we had was that we had to cancel two groups that were booked in for work purposes. They had to check out immediately as they had to go home. That was a big strain as we had our hopes up for the next six months. But they unfortunately had to leave and our business experienced a loss,” says Ngoqo.

Tourism stakeholders in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape have described business during the festive season as disappointing.

The announcement of Alert Level 3 of the COVID-19 restrictions had an immediate impact on hospitality and tourism-related operations in the metro.

The numbers are being tallied and final figures are expected to be released by the end of the month.

“What I’ve done is that I’ve let people work short time, two weeks on and off, for example, this month I’ve let people work for a week and then the following week it will be other people,” says tavern owner Paul Leven.

UPDATE: Lockdown compliance at East London beaches

As South Africa experiences a second surge of coronavirus infections as well as the emergence of a new variant of the virus, the government took a decision to close all beaches in the country.

The sale of alcohol has been banned until January 15.

SA Lockdown Level 3: All beaches and swimming areas in COVID hotspots closed