Police remove tables and chairs in a Cape Town CBD street during the restaurant industry’s #JobsSaveLives protest, which took place countrywide from noon to 2pm on Wednesday. Video: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)
Police remove tables and chairs in a Cape Town CBD street during the restaurant industry’s #JobsSaveLives protest, which took place countrywide from noon to 2pm on Wednesday. Video: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: Restaurant sector’s desperate cry for help in nationwide protests

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Several streets were closed in Cape Town as restaurants highlighted their plight in the “Million seats on the streets” and #JobsSaveLives protests, which were held countrywide from noon to 2pm today.

They put out their tables and chairs on pavements or in the street, with staff lining up and holding up placards amid the desperate cry for help by the industry’s 800 000 staff members whose jobs are on the line.

The police had warned restaurants beforehand that their planned mass protest action will be illegal, with officers seen removing tables and chairs placed in the Cape Town CBD, while streets had to be closed in the CBD and Camps Bay, among others.

Just drove by the Pineslopes centre in Fourways where many restaurant and bar staff are protesting against the...

Posted by Brent Lindeque on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Jerry’s employee in Observatory, Cape Town, Jeffrey, said: “We are doing this campaign to save our jobs and to save the lives of our children. We ask everyone around the world to join this campaign.

The Touch of Madness owner in Observatory said: “Obviously we are in the same predicament in terms of what’s happening. The initiative #JobsSavesLives is really trying to highlight how we as an industry are suffering.

Staff from A Touch of Madness and Jerry's in Observatory were among the many restaurants which protested countrywide...

Posted by Cape Times on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

“At my place, I have got 22 people whose jobs are at risk, my business is at risk and around me we have already had six restaurants that have shut their doors… Unless we can trade normally, we are never going to get back into business again.“

It is one of the sectors hit hardest by the government’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations and they requested that all who work in the industry, who are patrons, suppliers or simply want to lend support to an industry on the brink of collapse take a stand.

The scene outside Capisce Restaurant in Plettenberg Bay. Picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

The Restaurant Association of SA (RASA) and liquor traders were expected to meet Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane today to hand over a memorandum, imploring the lockdown restrictions on restaurants be eased.

RASA, the National Liquor Traders Council and the Liquor Traders Association of SA also wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa, asking him to meet them to discuss the “dire” state of the industry.

It is seeking legal advice on what action to take against the government's new regulations, based on the damages brought about through non-performance, liquor sales restrictions and the new curfew rules from 9pm.

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