Cape Town businesses fear negative impact of adjusted curfew

Through Sisonke Mlamla 4h ago

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Cape Town – There are fears that the recently announced curfew could negatively impact the thousands of jobs that depend on the tourism and hospitality sectors in the province.

James Vos, a member of the mayor’s committee on economic opportunities and asset management, said he would communicate urgently with his national counterparts to consider adjusting some of the latest, more stringent Level 2 foreclosure restrictions announced by Sunday by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa announced that curfew hours would start at 11 p.m. and end at 4 a.m., and non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centers would close at 10 p.m.

Vos said, in previous lockdowns he had made similar bespoke bids on behalf of key industries, such as business process outsourcing, apparel and textiles, tourism and hospitality.

“It is through bids like this that call centers have continued to provide essential services to local and international markets to function during the lockdown,” Vos said.

He said if action was needed to mitigate the third wave of Covid-19 and reduce infections, the economy literally couldn’t afford these curfews.

“The loss of trading hours every night has pushed many companies to the brink of collapse, many of them not being able to retain customers, pay their bills or keep staff employed,” he said. -he declares.

Langa Business Forum secretary Vuyiswa Ndzakana said there was not much difference in terms of working hours. It was just or only one hour adjusted from the previous level restriction.

“Until now, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs) will thrive, as the affected sectors will be just a few sectors, like taverns, alcohol and maybe food businesses in the evening or beyond 10 p.m., ”Ndzakana said.

Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Jacques Moolman said the private sector was well prepared, but while the first lockdown was devastating, this time it was a return to level 2, where he was before.

Moolman said lessons had been learned that measures to limit the effect on the market were in place and would soften the shock.

“We all have to wait until the end and continue to adhere to anti-Covid protocols by staff and customers. If we all do this, the effect on businesses and the community should be minimal,” Moolman said.

ANC provincial spokesperson for finance and economic opportunities Nomi Nkondlo said the curfew places time limits on companies that need the extra hours for production or sales, like restaurants.

“We have to note that the experience of the first wave and the second wave should carry us through and help us navigate this third wave much better than when it hit the first time,” Nkondlo said.

She said businesses must have, and should continue to focus on, their safety and preventive measures to limit contamination of their premises and operations, as such things already place undue financial and human burdens on them. companies.

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