The City of Cape Town (CoCT) Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos has appealed to government to change the current lockdown curfew to 23:00.
In a letter addressed to Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, James Vos, CoCT MayCo member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management appealed for the current curfew to move from 21:00 to 23:00 as means for businesses to sustain operations and secure employment.
Vos has stated that he has received numerous calls and correspondence from businesses within hospitality, manufacturing, retail and SMME’s who have expressed their concerns about facing closure as a result of business operating hours lasting until 20:00 which has resulted in a lack of retaining customers, paying bills and maintaining employment.
“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.”
Vos also stated that, “Our local economy relies on the food and beverage, manufacturing, hospitality and retail sectors, including service providers, for jobs and economic activity. We know that, according to the latest information from Statistics South Africa, the tourism sector added R18,1 billion to our economy and supported just over 113 000 jobs in 2018.”
Vos noted that although the country may be in the grips of a second wave of Covid-19, saving lives as well as livelihoods are important, however, there are early indications that infection rates in the Western Cape are stabilising and therefore the appeal to government to change the curfew is aimed to save businesses from closure, especially within the hospitality sector.
Businesses within the various sectors are reported to be strict in following and implementing health and safety protocols. Vos’ view is that, considering this aspect, changing the curfew would provide a lifeline for these sectors to stay viable and secure employment.