The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) welcomed the announcements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night that allows the on-site consumption of alcohol to continue over the upcoming Easter long weekend.
On-site consumption at restaurants, taverns and bars will be allowed. However, alcohol will not be sold for off-site consumption from Easter Friday to Monday.
RASA CEO Wendy Alberts says they still face many challenges as a result of the impact that the hard lockdown imposed in March last year, so being allowed to continue to trade and sell alcohol is welcomed.
Alberts says, “[It’s] Great relief for the industry you know it made absolutely no sense with where the numbers are sitting to have put further pressure on our industry let alone the economy. We have lost a lot of restaurants so there’s been a thinning out of the industry which means that there is more supply for those restaurants who have survived…”
“The combination of alcohol and food is a crucial part in people wanting to go out and have an experience within a restaurant so we really do appreciate the opportunity to trade through Easter,” added Alberts.
Impact of government’s decision on restaurant and liquor industries:
Meanwhile, the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says although it welcomes the announcement by the President, it will engage with the government to garner further clarification behind the rationale for the continued ban on the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption over the Easter weekend.
Salba spokesperson Sibani Mngadi says they need clarity on how long this regulation will continue.
Mngadi says, “Certainly we welcome firstly the area around on-site consumption because those play a critical role in tourism in the retail sector. We do understand the decision that’s been taken.”
“We will be engaging with the government going forward to better understand the rationale behind the closing on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays. There hasn’t been any motivation that has been put forward by the government on this issue and certainly if you look at the results of big retailers they are down something like 20-25% of volume, added Mngadi.
Analysis on Level 1 and the adjusted Easter regulations: