It would give a “total carnage” if restaurants were not allowed to sell liquor with their meals. As a result, many will have to close their doors and some 800,000 people will lose their jobs.
This is stated by Liam Tomlin, CEO and shareholder of the Chefs Warehouse restaurants, in his affidavit which forms the basis of a group of Western Cape restaurants’ argument, which will take the government to court next week over its “irrational and punitive regulations ”Which prohibits alcohol from being served with meals.
Tomlin, who represents five of the applicants (three Chefs Warehouse restaurants in Cape Town, Constantia and Franschhoek, Thali in Cape Town and Jewells in Spice Route in Paarl respectively), joined forces with Theo Nel, owner of the Karoo Art Hotel in Barrydale , Steven Albert of Nelson’s Eye in Cape Town and Reuben Riffel, with three restaurants in Paarl and two in Franschhoek, to honor Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, National Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister for Tourism, and Ebrahim Patel, Minister for Trade and Industry, to appear in court.
Albert and Riffel submitted supporting statements with the application and an expert report by the restaurateur Peter Veldsman was also obtained.
The application is filed on an urgent basis and the court is asking for immediate interim relief to restaurants as the government prepares its case.
The applicants argue that this ban makes it impossible for restaurants – which are already on the shelves – to get back on their feet. Many restaurants had to close and hundreds of people lost all their jobs.
Nel says this is a matter of utmost importance because several owners have lost everything they took years to build.
Some of them could not get their restaurants sold and their staff are now unemployed.
“These restaurant owners now also have to pay their arrears because it does not just disappear.”
If the court does not change the two regulations next week, thousands of other restaurants will follow the same path, Nel said.
The second regulation that is objected to is that a distance of 1.5 m must be maintained between people in restaurants, also between customers who share a table.
The restaurants believe it is simply unworkable if four, six or eight members of a family share a table.
“The family will need three to five tables to fit in. No restaurant can survive like this. And who wants to go out to eat with such silly and unnecessary regulations? Or is there a risk that Minister Bheki Cele’s overzealous police will show up with great zeal with a tape measure and lock everyone up, ”the applicants said.
By Friday, the ministers had not yet filed their opposing pieces.
The applicants argue the regulations also do not make sense. It is not explicitly mentioned that restaurants are not allowed to serve alcohol, but if one goes to read in the addendum, it is forbidden.
Some restaurants have used the option to deliver liquor (after the government said liquor-licensed restaurants can deliver liquor), and some have seized the opportunity, but it’s not enough to keep an eye on water.
In addition, the issue of payment is also a tender point.
The principle of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s coronavirus support, Covid19Ters, was that a company’s staff could claim salary support if it were forced to close. It came to an end at the end of June.
Restaurants will have to pay their own staff from 1 July, in addition to rent and other operating expenses. If the government makes it impossible for restaurants to run a profitable business, thousands of restaurants will have no choice but to close their doors permanently.
The case will be heard in court on July 14.