Cape Town asks government to extend South Africa’s curfew as businesses are ‘pushed to the brink’

The City of Cape Town has written to a letter to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asking her to consider and lobby for the extension of the current curfew of 21h00.

The city’s mayoral committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, said that he has been inundated by calls from desperate businesses who have indicated that the curfew is directly impacting their trading.

“Losing trading hours every night has pushed many businesses to the brink, with many not being able to retain customers, pay bills, or keep staff employed,” he said.

“Our local economy relies on the food and beverage, manufacturing, hospitality and retail sectors, including service providers, for jobs and economic activity.”

Citing StatsSA data, Vos said that the tourism sector added R18.1 billion to the economy and supported just over 113,000 jobs in 2018.

“While the full extent of the various lockdowns on business closures and job losses is yet to be established, thousands of businesses and jobs have potentially been lost or are at risk.

“These businesses need every hour to keep their doors open, retain and create jobs.”

Vos said that the city is not taking the request for a curfew extension lightly but warned that it is a bid to save what is left of the hospitality sector.

“I am reassured and do so on the basis of the extensive health and safety protocols implemented by this industry, which I have seen first-hand through my many visits.

“I am confident that by extending the curfew by just two hours to 23h00, on the strict condition of the implementation of the necessary health and safety measures, we will be able to give these sectors the lifeline they so desperately need to stay viable and save jobs.”

Read: SAB cancels another R2.5 billion investment in South Africa due to alcohol ban

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Cape Town asks government to extend South Africa’s curfew as businesses are ‘pushed to the brink’