LIFESTYLE NEWS - Following various social media reports of restaurants and other hospitality establishments not following the regulations as set out under the Disaster Management Act for Level 2 of the national lockdown, the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) has pleaded with establishment owners to behave.
The association has also encouraged the reporting of a few non-compliant restaurants in the hopes of saving the industry as a whole in order to prevent the Department of Tourism and the National Command Council (NCC) from reimposing stricter regulations.
This message was sent via a communique issued on Monday by Rasa CEO Wendy Alberts.
According to Alberts, these social media reports have even caught the attention of Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and the NCC.
“Due to these infractions, consideration is being held to impose stricter protocols or even reverting to off-site consumption and even to close the restaurant sector. It is unthinkable that due to a few operators not following the rules the entire industry may suffer again,” wrote Alberts.
This comes after almost six months of the industry not being able to operate unencumbered due to the lockdown regulations which were only eased less than a month ago.
“It has become apparent that various owners believe that the current regulations do not apply to them. We have worked so hard to open our sector and much heartache has been caused due to the restrictions and full closure of our beautiful restaurants."
“To date we have had reports of restaurants operating past curfew, ignoring the social distancing protocols and not ensuring masks are used etc. These incidents have sprung up all over social media and has since garnered the attention of the Minister of Tourism and the NCCC,” cautioned Alberts.
When contacted for comment, Spokesperson in the Tourism Ministry Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota told The Citizen that she was not aware of any plans by the minister to hold any such consultation.
Nhlabathi-Mokota said that should anything change, the minister would openly communicate her intentions in this regard as she has done in the past with other activities related to her department.