Cape Town - What is said to be a victory for the many industry bodies, businesses and leaders is set to boost the revival of the night time economy.
The relaxation of curfew comes after calls by various organisations and parties on President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the curfew, as this will enable various night-time businesses to fully function and generate revenue.
Lucas Marco, 43-year-old local nightclub owner in Observatory, said there were too many challenges he and his staff went through during curfew times. He said that now they were free and fully operational with fewer time restrictions.
‘’Our prayers were finally answered. Since lockdown, followed by curfew, I had to let go of seven staff members due to financial constraints. Imagine opening a club from eight in the morning till ten at night, to only serve a few customers because during the day people are at work. I hope for the curfew to remain this way and never change, as this will allow my business to make money,’’ he said.
Working hard to get the economic engine running at full force, the City of Cape Town said that this would be a huge relief to the hundreds of thousands of workers in tourism and hospitality – the industries that have borne the brunt of the national lockdown and reduced trading time.
Another self-employed driver is 34-year-old Deelan Dowrie, who works for Bolt around the City of Cape Town. He expressed his relief at the curfew relaxation after he had to deal with police officials during the later hours of curfew.
‘’I can't even recall how many times I got into trouble with the law enforcement officers for failure to comply with curfew restrictions. The nature of our business demands one to take full charge in order to have an income.
“Many times I had to beg officers to let me go during my late operations after curfew, because people would want rides. Tips are also better, so I am happy now and I will be able to improve my income for me and my family.’’
The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (EDAT) also welcomed the curfew relaxation and that it would significantly boost the revival of the night-time economy, in particular the hospitality industry.
EDAT head of communications, Joe-Mark-Arnold, said: ‘’The night-time economy plays an important role in job creation and contributes towards the destination appeal of the Western Cape. In 2019, the wholesale and retail trade, catering and accommodation sectors accounted for 25% of the provincial economy.
“Tourism relies upon products and services from across a range of sectors and industries in the economy, so any general inflationary pressure in the economy will also be mirrored within the tourism industry.’’
The City of Cape Town said it was busy revitalising the CBD for more economic opportunities, and they were pushing to look at the Night-Time Economic Study again to see how they could revive 24-hour economic activity.