The Restaurant Association of SA (Rasa) is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to extend curfew hours to allow dinner-time trade.
"The restaurant sector, which has been battered by Covid-19 lockdown regulations over the past 18 months, seeks an extension of the national curfew by one hour to enable restaurants to trade during the crucial dinner-time period," said Rasa CEO Wendy Alberts.
"We can not serve dinner in total darkness any longer. Please switch our lights back on.”
The lockdown level 3 curfew is currently set at 10pm.
“The extra trading hour before curfew, with restaurants being forced to stop trading at 21:00, to allow for compliance with the curfew of 22:00, will make a massive difference,” said Alberts.
She added that up to 70% of trade turnover is generated by dinner-time trade.
“Especially as we head into spring and good weather, our customers do not want to be rushed when they go out for a meal,” she said.
“The impact caused by the restrictions on the restaurant sector has caused significant hardships for business operators and employees, with many having to endure salary cuts, unpaid leave, and uncertainty regarding income and stress.”