Cosatu says restrictions are necessary to save lives but the impact of the hospitality and liquor industries was concerning. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Cosatu says restrictions are necessary to save lives but the impact of the hospitality and liquor industries was concerning. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Cosatu concerned about lockdown’s impact on hospitality, alcohol industries

By Itumeleng Mafisa Time of article published Jun 29, 2021

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s taxi industry has expressed concern over the restrictions placed on travelling in and out of Gauteng.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to alert level 4 on Sunday evening and restricted travel in and out of the province as part of measures to reduce the Covid-19 infection rate.

Theo Malele of the National Taxi Alliance said: “The industry will be negatively impacted and this places the operators under pressure because they will not meet their monthly commitments and this affects their well-being. We just hope a miracle happens and this passes.”

Despite the rise in cases of the virus, the association would not encourage its members to reduce the number of people in a taxi. He said taxis would instead encourage sanitising and other measures.

The South African National Taxi Council said it was also concerned about the ban on long-distance travel. A spokesperson for the association, Bafana Magagula, said the industry would “bleed money” for the next two weeks. He said the industry employed around 300 000 drivers and created about a million jobs.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has welcomed the tighter restrictions for Gauteng.

The federation said tighter restrictions were necessary to save lives. Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the federation was, however, concerned about the impact of the lockdown on certain sectors such as the hospitality and alcohol industries.

“These additional restrictions imposed are necessary to stem the tide of infections, especially the prohibition of all gatherings, reduced numbers for funerals, and a tighter curfew,” he said.

Pamla said relief needed to be provided for those sectors of the economy prohibited from trading or required to downscale such as the liquor, tourism, hospitality, sports and events sectors.

“This relief needs to come from not only the Unemployment Insurance Fund but also in the form of tax and rates holidays, loan and premium payment holidays from banks and insurance companies.

“Failure to provide relief is to condemn workers to jobs and wage losses, and businesses to total collapse. The South African government and the financial sector must do more to provide solidarity to workers and the economy.”

Pamla said assertive measures were needed to monitor and ensure strict compliance by liquor vendors, public transport operators and political parties.

The general secretary of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), Cassim Lekgoathi, said the body needed more clarity on the kind of response that the health sector would give. Denosa blamed public complacency for the current situation in which the country found itself.

“What has been obvious from the early days of the resurgence, however, is that both the existing non-pharmaceutical measures and the policing of compliance to such (measures) have not been effective,” Lekgoathi said.

South Africans woke up on Monday to tighter Covid-19 regulations that place restrictions on dining, gymning and purchasing alcohol.

After listening to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on Sunday night when he moved the country to Alert Level 4, many assumed that the restrictions mostly affected the purchasing of alcohol.

However, the regulations gazetted and published yesterday sees the closure of, gyms and fitness centres, flea markets, fêtes and bazaars, nightclubs, casinos, taverns, bars and shebeens.

In addition, conferencing and exhibition centres will also be closed alongside museums, libraries, archives and galleries.

How does alert level 4 2021 compare to alert level 4, 2020?

Alcohol sales

Restricted under both years. Tobacco sales

Restricted under 2020 but allowed in 2021

Food

In 2020, takeaway food was allowed but retailers could not sell pies and rotisserie chickens. Sit down at restaurants was not allowed and restaurants were to remain closed. In 2021, takeaways including pies and rotisserie chickens can be purchased and while there is no sit down allowed at restaurants, restaurants are allowed to do takeaways.

Interprovincial Travel

In 2020, only essential travel was permitted and proof was needed for one returning to a province for work.

In 2021, only Gauteng is closed for leisure purposes. Trips to Gauteng for business or funerals are permitted. Curfew

In 2020, curfew started at 8pm and ended at 5am. In 2021, curfew starts at 9pm and ends at 4am.

The Star

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