Restaurant AssociationBL Premium reports that the Restaurant Association of SA (Rasa) is calling for the cabinet to end restrictions on eateries after an estimated 1,100 restaurants shut down during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rasa CEO Wendy Alberts said that before the onset of the pandemic, the association had a database of more than 23,400 restaurants it communicated with. Its database has since dropped to 9,000. While not every restaurant it no longer works with has closed, she believes thousands have shuttered their doors for good, leaving tens of thousands of workers jobless. Rasa’s internal surveys suggest that more than 1,100 restaurants closed in recent months after lockdown regulations forced them to shut their doors during the height of the third wave of the pandemic. Current lockdown regulations dictate that restaurants must close by 9pm, which means some consumers do not have time to go out for dinner and instead stayed home. Regulations also restrict restaurants to 50 guests regardless of the physical size of the establishment. Alberts said the sector’s ongoing pleas for financial relief to the government, cabinet and the minister of tourism have fallen on deaf ears. “We are still sitting with a vast amount of our staff unpaid with no immediate relief from the government employment relief scheme,” she lamented.


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