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Restaurant association calls for urgent lift of lockdown restrictions for sector

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The Restaurants Association of South Africa (Rasa) on Friday renewed its call for government to lift lockdown restrictions for the sector.

Under adjusted level 3, establishments such as restaurants, gyms and fitness centres can operate but must close by 9pm. A maximum of 50 people are allowed indoors and 100 outdoors.

The industry said it was urgently requesting a review by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his newly-appointed Cabinet to consult and move to relax restrictions.

Rasa chief executive Wendy Alberts said government was quick to flip the “off switch” when it saw the need to, but it was always a big ask and a big demand to have it switched on again.

She said 70% of the sector’s trade came from dinner time business, adding current restrictions were not working.

Alberts said despite several and ongoing pleas for relief and compensation, government had failed to assist the requests for debt deferment for restaurants.

She said they would continue to call on debt relief for loans and leases.

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