The restaurant industry has decided to highlight its losses by creating a social media movement using the hashtag #JobSaveLives, detailing how the Covid-19 lockdown has been detrimental to them.
Restaurants have finally been able to open their doors for sit-downs after months of closure, this hasn’t, unfortunately, brought the much-needed relief they hope for and the re-ban of alcohol sales and curfew has further pushed the hospitality industry to its breaking point.
Chef to the stars Peter Goffe-Wood has taken a stand. He said his restaurant Viande in the Western Cape is on the line with the 34 jobs.
“People from inside and out of the industry have suggested all manner of protest, but nothing we could do would hold the government to ransom like the taxi industry,” he said.
More people in the industry have taken part in sharing black and white photos in the South African Restaurant Covid-19 Facebook group, highlighting the jobs at risks.
CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa Wendy Alberts said that the planned protest on Wednesday, 22 July, is meant to highlight how important their industry is to society.
“This affects everybody, whatever skin colour, we contribute to tax, employment, GDP, we want the government to hear our call. This is not a movement or a march, it is a protest and this industry and the possibly job losses affects the whole of the country.”
She said restaurants across the country will be blocking off roads with chairs. Protests will be limited to 50 people and protesters will follow the necessary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.
“What we want from government is several things, we want to get back to work, compensation, liquor license compensation, formalising of the industry, UIF issued promptly, and clear engagement. We want to sit at the table and be heard.”
Here are some of the images shared by restaurants pleading for help.