Between July and December this year, this mass vaccination centre is expected to administer over 750 000 vaccinations in Cape Town, playing a critical role in the Western Cape and South Africa’s vaccination programme. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Between July and December this year, this mass vaccination centre is expected to administer over 750 000 vaccinations in Cape Town, playing a critical role in the Western Cape and South Africa’s vaccination programme. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

WC premier Winde and Cape Town mayor Plato welcome reopening of hospitality sector, urge ramped-up vaccinations

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jul 12, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town have welcomed the partial reopening of the hospitality sector after the president’s address last night but they are calling for ramped-up vaccinations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday evening the country would remain on adjusted level 4 lockdown for the next two weeks, but there would be an easing of some restrictions.

He said that from July 11-25:

  • All social, political, religious and other gatherings remained prohibited.
  • A curfew remained in place from 9pm until 4am and only those with permission to do so may leave their homes during their period.
  • The sale of alcohol remained prohibited.
  • Schools will remained closed until July 26.

Ramaphosa also announced restaurants and eateries would be able to operate, while observing strict health protocols.

“Such establishments may not accommodate more than 50 people at a time or for smaller venues more than 50% of their normal capacity.”

He added the national vaccination programme was expanding at a rapid pace.

“To date, over 4.2 million people in South Africa have received a vaccine dose, with one million of these having been done over the past seven weekdays.

“The pace of vaccination has more than doubled in the last month, and will continue to increase. Presently, nearly 190 000 people are on average being vaccinated each week day.

“Government and the private sector are working together in an unprecedented way to build additional capacity to vaccinate many more people a day,” he said.

Premier Alan Winde said the provincial government welcomed the opening of restaurants to allow a maximum of 50 people to dine indoors, as well as the reinstitution of TERS UIF.

He added they were calling for further innovative measures, including allowing the sale of wine online with delivery being permitted.

“Livelihoods in this sector are just as important as livelihoods in any other, and so this sector should be allowed to safely function, in line with clear guidelines.

“I therefore welcome the president’s announcement yesterday evening that restaurants can now open with a maximum of 50 indoors, as an important first step in saving thousands of jobs in this important industry in the Western Cape and South Africa.

“I am also pleased that UIF TERS support will be extended, as this was something the Western Cape government pushed hard for too,” Winde said.

City of Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato also welcomed the announcement of a partial reopening of the hospitality industry while reiterating the call to the national government to continue to speed up the vaccination roll-out.

“We note the announcement by President Ramaphosa to allow certain industries to reopen. This is a much-needed adjustment to the regulations as many businesses have been under severe strain.”

Winde added: “I do believe that there are further changes possible in this space, if we embrace innovation and ‘out of the box’ thinking, and we should work with the industry to find other ways in which operations could be scaled up in a safe, well-distanced and well-ventilated environment.”

He added that the Western Cape was concerned about the prolonged closure of schools, particularly at Foundation Phase level, and the impact this would have on children.

“The Western Cape Government’s top priority remains ensuring that every child, no matter where they live, gets the best possible education and that we keep our children in the system until matriculation.”

The Western Cape government had developed significant vaccination infrastructure, Winde said, adding it was ready to boost vaccine roll-out further.

“We have prepared a significant, province-wide vaccine infrastructure that will enable us to do so effective immediately, and we are already able to scale-up to over 120 000 vaccinations from this week.

“However, we need more supplies in order to do so, and therefore welcome announcements by the president that supplies will begin to increase significantly.“

Plato said in Cape Town, the municipality was playing its part to assist with the ramping-up of the national vaccine roll-out.

“The mass vaccination site opened recently at the CTICC by the City of Cape Town, Western Cape government, and medical aid group Discovery, aims to vaccinate 4 000 people daily until December this year,” he said.

“We hope that sufficient vaccine supply by the national government is available to meet this goal. The City of Cape Town and Western Cape government are committed to supporting the speedy roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine to our residents,” Plato said.

“Registration for vaccinations for the 35-49 age group open on Thursday 15 July and we appeal to all those within that category to come forward as soon as possible. Getting to a point where further lockdowns are not needed is crucial to saving jobs.”

Plato added that residents above age 50 were encouraged to continue coming forward to get vaccinated.

“We urge all residents to please continue adhering to the regulations so that the adjusted lockdown level 4 is not extended for a further period. The current extension of adjusted level 4 will be in place until 25 July.”

Cape Argus

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