Restaurants Association of SA is not backing down from a fight with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to lift the ban on the on-site consumption of liquor at restaurants. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Restaurants Association of SA is not backing down from a fight with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to lift the ban on the on-site consumption of liquor at restaurants. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

SA restaurants fight for on-site liquor consumption

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Jul 10, 2020

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Cape Town - The Restaurants Association of South Africa (Rasa) is not backing down from a fight with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to lift the ban on the on-site consumption of liquor at restaurants.

According to Rasa, businesses are pleading with Minister Ebrahim Patel to have a meaningful engagement with them on why the selling of alcohol at restaurants remains prohibited.

Rasa chief executive Wendy Alberts said: “We are asking to engage with the minister on this because many of our restaurants have chosen not to open its doors because of this.

"Restaurants pay for a liquor license and it's very expensive and they stand at risk of losing it if it's not used.”

Alberts said the Department of Trade and Industry has not been forthcoming with information.

“R10 000 for this liquor license is a lot of money and many of the restaurants have gone through terrible financial difficulties.

"They are pushing this delay and they are punishing us. We have been respectful and we have adhered to all the regulations, but they still choose to ignore us,” she said.

As of July 1, restaurants have been allowed to reopen for sit-down services under stringent health protocols. This after being closed for nearly four months.

However, alcohol and buffets remain prohibited at restaurants.

In a letter sent from Rasa’s attorney’s to Patel it stated: “The request for reasons was made to the minister in his capacity as a member of Cabinet who is in charge of the regulations surrounding the sale of on-site consumption of alcohol.

"In terms of Section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), there must have been consultations between the ministers of the Department of Trade and Industry and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) where the restriction and regulations to be imposed would have been discussed and agreed on.”

Rasa has given the ministry seven days to respond to the letter.

The Department of Trade and Industry have yet to respond to questions.

@MarvinCharles17

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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