Industries hardest hit by lockdown curbs hope Ramaphosa will heed their pleas

Some sectors of the economy, including the alcohol and restaurant industries, have suffered major financial setbacks since the country moved to level 4 of the COVID-19 lockdown at the end of last month.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – South African businesses are pinning their hopes on President Cyril Ramaphosa relaxing COVID-19 lockdown to try to boost the country’s ailing economy.

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Sunday evening on developments in the country‘s response to the pandemic.

Some sectors of the economy, including the alcohol and restaurant industries, have suffered major financial setbacks since the country moved to level 4 of the COVID-19 lockdown at the end of last month.

Some businesses were forced to shut down with others struggling to stay afloat.

The alcohol industry is among the hardest hit and now says should the situation remain the same – more than 10 thousand taverns will be forced to close permanently affecting 200,000 jobs.

The National Liquor Traders’ Association’s Lucky Ntemane said, “The recovery of the alcohol industry will take years, and we need government’s support to weather this.”

Many restaurants were also at the brink of closing their doors should Ramaphosa not relax the alcohol trading curb and other restrictions.

The Restaurant Association of South Africa’s Wendy Alberts said, “We are unable to operate our businesses without compensation on the other end. I don’t know how government expects us to be able to pay our overheads when we are not able to trade our businesses.”

They say they hope this time their plea will be heard.

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