FEDHASA welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on 12 September 2021, moving the country to an adjusted Alert Lockdown Level 2, easing COVID-19 restrictions which have hampered normal operations within the hospitality sector and, in some sectors such as larger restaurants and venues, have made operating under the past months, financially unviable.
We understand the delicate balancing act that Government has had to tread in saving lives and securing livelihoods. However, more than 18 months since restrictions to curb the spread of COVID were first introduced to equip our health services so they could cope with the pandemic, the hospitality sector continues to bear the brunt of curfews, liquor bans and limits on gathering sizes. There are not many businesses which would be able to continue to survive with their operations so severely curtailed.
What we now need are assurances that there will be no further shut downs and restrictions so that South African and international travellers can book flights and accommodation ahead with confidence, secure in the knowledge that they will be able to travel freely across provinces and be able to enjoy our wonderful South African food, wines, beers and malts. Confidence in the Government’s pathway going forward is vital to the hospitality industry’s recovery.
Simultaneously, as we prepare for the upcoming summer season, we appeal to all South African residents to be responsible, adhere to the protocols and get vaccinated so we can reduce pressure on our healthcare system with the threat of the potential fourth wave over the festive season, keep our businesses open, secure jobs and keep South Africans and visitors safe.