City of Cape Town calls for lockdown curfew to be pushed to 11pm
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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has called on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to extend the current curfew of 9pm.
On Friday, Mayco Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos said he had written to Dlamini Zuma to implore her to consider and lobby for the current curfew to be extended.
“I have been inundated with calls and correspondence from desperate businesses in hospitality, manufacturing, retail and SMMEs across the business value chain, including the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa), who, after just managing to survive the first round of lockdowns, are now facing closure due to having to close their doors at 8pm.
“Losing trading hours every night has pushed many businesses to the brink, with many not being able to retain customers, pay bills, or keep staff employed,” Vos said.
He said Cape Town’s local economy relied on the food and beverage, manufacturing, hospitality and retail sectors, including service providers, for jobs and economic activity.
“We know that, according to the latest information from Statistics South Africa, the tourism sector added R18.1 billion to our economy and supported just over 113 000 jobs in 2018.
“While the full extent of the various lockdowns on business closures and job losses is yet to be established, thousands of businesses and jobs have potentially been lost or are at risk.”
He said these businesses needed every hour to keep their doors open, retain and create jobs and that saving lives as well as livelihoods continued to be a priority.
He said that while the country is in the grips of the second wave of Covid-19, early indications showed the infection rate in the Western Cape was stabilising.
“I do not make this request for a curfew extension lightly, but this is a bid to save what is left of the hospitality sector.
“I am reassured and do so on the basis of the extensive health and safety protocols implemented by this industry, which I have seen first-hand through my many visits,” Vos said.
“I am confident that by extending the curfew by just two hours to 11pm, on the strict condition of the implementation of the necessary health and safety measures, we will be able to give these sectors the lifeline they so desperately need to stay viable and save jobs.”