WATCH: Durban restaurants take to the streets to have their voices heard
Durban restaurants joined the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) 1 million on the streets protest, which highlighted the hardships restaurants are facing.
Between 12pm and 2pm there were protests all over the country, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Across Durban, restaurant employees and owners took to the streets outside the restaurant holding placards which were straight to the point - the alcohol ban and the curfew added more financial strain on the restaurant industry.
Duncan Heafield of Hospitality, Entertainment, Leisure, Industries Association of South Africa (Helisa) said they collaborate with Rasa to facilitate the protest in uMhlanga and Durban in various sectors.
Heafield said it was a Rasa initiative initially and various associations joined.
“In uMhlanga it showed the sign and the time, specifically with a lot of the restaurants not being able to take part because they are actually closed at the moment. But the solidarity shown between the restaurants that were open, I think in uMhlanga was exceptional,” said Heafield.
“The Florida Road restaurants I know had interference from the Metro Police, disturbing their demonstration. But I think the northern chapter, from Durban North and uMhlanga and Umdloti, I think that our restaurants behaved in the format that we would expect from restaurants and were well received by the people all round.”
Butcher Boys Umhlanga waitress Kayla Hillhouse, 26, said the last four months have been a struggle, therefore they joined the protest just to create awareness so they could resume their lives and be able to pay their bills.
“We’re creating awareness through these signs and getting everyone together while maintaining social distancing,” said Hillhouse.
She said it has been hard but the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has been paying even though it had been delayed and it was the minimal amount they were entitled to.
Hillhouse said even though they were struggling, they helped each other out. When someone needed something, they were happy to help those who were in their waitron community.
“Our management has been extremely helpful during this time. So we have that to be thankful for, we have great bosses,” said Hillhouse.
Vapor Cafe in Morningside also took to the streets.
Marketing manager Aadil Moolla said they felt that the curfew was a problem as it was destroying the industry and many people were losing their jobs.