The Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) is demanding answers from Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry, about why people are not allowed to order and use beverages in eateries.
If Patel cannot provide valid reasons for this within seven days, Rasa demands that the regulations be amended to allow eating places to serve alcohol with dinner.
Although restaurants may reopen for dinner on Monday, according to an announcement by the government, Rasa says restaurants’ profits will be severely hampered if alcohol is not also served.
Rasa, in a letter to his lawyer, Ashton Naidoo, said in a letter to Patel on Sunday that the restaurant industry had already reached breaking point due to the restriction.
“Due to the current climate, economically as well as socially, owners face a major struggle to attract customers. The restrictions on selling liquor with meals basically require them to tackle the fight with one hand.
“South Africa has a culture of drinking with meals, and by not allowing it, the department is contributing to the downturn in the industry, which has an impact on many industries of the economy and the economy. South African economy as a whole, ”says Naidoo.
According to the letter, Rasa has already received confirmation from numerous eateries that they will not reopen because it will not be viable for them if they are not allowed to sell drinks as well.
Furthermore, Naidoo believes the restrictions on liquor sales violate the owners’ constitutional rights. He says it is pointless to allow the take-away sales of alcohol from Mondays to Thursdays at eateries, but not for serving with dinner.
“The members who want to sell alcohol have valid liquor licenses that were not cheap or easy to obtain. The licenses are basically worthless at the moment, as they turn restaurants into liquor stores, which are not beneficial to the economy or our customers, ”says Naidoo.
Sidwell Medupi, spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry, did not respond to inquiries on Monday.
Although the government did not publish health measures by Monday afternoon for eating places to reopen in the Government Gazette, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced these measures at a media conference on Friday.
She said the regulations on, among other things, the reopening of restaurants will apply from Monday.