Business owners in the hospitality industry say new regulations stipulating early closure times and a limitation on the number of patrons in establishments pose new challenges for their businesses.
There’s been mixed reaction to the new strict measures which order different outlets selling alcohol to stop selling from 6pm. The new regulations published in the government gazette on Wednesday evening ordered that taverns, restaurants and clubs which sell liquor on their premises close their bars earlier and have no more than 50 people.
While some Kimberley residents have welcomed the move, business owners have their reservations.
The regulations, which have come into effect as part of the Disaster Management Act, aim to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This is a huge adjustment for alcohol businesses that draw large crowds at night. Resident Loyiso Dube says the regulation is fine as alcohol is not important.
“I feel that it is actually fine because alcohol is not really that important. My question to the President is how are these people going to get paid?”
Cocktail lounge owner MacDonald Visser says that they have to follow government regulations regardless of the fact that they get most of their clients late at night.
“That’s where now we’re getting our business, around 22:00, 23:00 and 00:00 at night. But because of the outcry and the coronavirus, we need to put measures in place. We need to make sure that at least we follow the instructions of government. It’s a serious worrying factor which means that even with the staff; we have to minimize the staff. Now you must understand that within the hospitality sector you pay them per hour. So now that you have to decrease the number of employees within the premises, it’s going to hit them in their pockets as well.”
— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) March 19, 2020
A Melville restaurant manager says they will adhere to the new regulation:
Waitrons that get paid per hour at such establishments are also worried as this would mean a cut in their wages. Waitress Kelebogile Mojanaga says this will impact their lives.
“If it closes at six then it means that we might have to lose our working hours. So it won’t be the same. Salaries will not be the same. So I feel that even though we have to do it, it just impacts our lives differently after that.”
Northern Cape police have vowed to enforce the new regulations as non-compliance by businesses may lead to six months imprisonment, a fine or both.
Impact of the new regulation in the hospitality industry: