Lockdown curfew hitting Cape businesses hard
Cape Town – The City has warned businesses are on the brink of collapse after losing trading hours every night because of the lockdown curfew, and have now called on the government to change the times, saying every trading hour is vital for businesses.
Economic opportunities and asset management Mayco member James Vos said he had written to the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to implore her to consider and lobby for the current curfew of 9pm to be lifted to 11pm.
Vos said he had been inundated with calls and correspondence from desperate businesses in hospitality, manufacturing, retail and the small, medium and micro enterprises across the business value chain, including the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Federated Hospitality Association of SA, who, after just managing to survive the first round of lockdowns, were now facing closure due to having to close their doors at 8pm.
He said losing trading hours every night had pushed many businesses to the brink, with many not being able to retain customers, pay bills, or keep staff employed.
He said while the full extent of the various lockdowns on business closures and job losses were yet to be established, thousands of businesses and jobs could be lost, or were at risk.
Black Business Chamber (BBC) secretary-general Mntuwekhaya Cishe said the impact of Covid-19 was severe on small businesses and that was evident in the fact some small businesses had not come back into operation since the lockdown.
Cishe said the Covid-19 relief fund and other support measures had not done any good in salvaging small businesses from collapse as a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown.
ANC provincial spokesperson on finance and economic opportunities, Nomi Nkondlo, said increasing trading hours must be balanced by the impact that would have on trying to ensure movement between certain hours were restricted by the curfew regulations.
Nkondlo said firm proposals should be developed for consideration by the National Command Council.
“It is clear that both the curfew and ban on sale of alcohol are assisting to relieve the burden on the health system. However, changes need to be carefully considered."