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By Citizen Reporter


Restaurants trying to get takeaways back during part two of the lockdown

The original 21-day lockdown was meant to end on Thursday, after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all restaurants, cafes, bars and coffee shops could not be deemed essential services.

According to a Business Insider report, restaurants are hoping to be granted approval to allow people to order takeaways again as part of a gradual reopening of the economy in part two of the lockdown, which was extended for another 14 days.

Ramaphosa said last week that the economy would now instead be restarted in a phased approach, though he did not single out the role of the prepared food industry.

Business Insider has reported that at least one fast-food chain is considering selling food only via third-party delivery services such as Uber Eats and Mr D, which are currently already delivering essential supplies.

“Others are believed to be considering open drive-through windows while doors remain locked.”

The CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, Wendy Alberts, told the publication they have been in daily contact with the department of trade and industry about what could be allowed going forward.

All restaurants and take-away places have been hard-hit by the lockdown and some may not be able to reopen again due to cash flow problems.

Last month, the restaurant franchisor group Spur Corporation put its dividend, totalling R71 million, on ice.

It also confirmed that it was not charging its franchisees any franchise fees for the second half of March and the whole of April due to the nationwide lockdown.

Late last month, the DA wrote to Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane ahead of the lockdown to request that she ask the executive to amend lockdown regulations in order to include food and grocery delivery services.

MP Manny De Freitas said that it was logical for restaurants to close their sit-down areas, but food delivery should be allowed.

“There are many who are confined to their homes, for whatever reason, and use food delivery services and online delivery services not as a luxury but as a necessity.

“Furthermore, the DA is of the view that restaurants should be allowed to keep their kitchens open for food delivery and pick-up within the parameters set for hygiene – while keeping their sit-down areas closed. Linked to this, food and grocery delivery services such as UberEats, Mr D or services run by restaurants themselves, should therefore also be allowed to operate.

“Allowing food delivery could decrease the movement of people to and from shops in accordance with social distancing and will go a long way in ensuring that the restaurant industry remains profitable drivers of employment,” said De Freitas.

This, according to the DA, would not only keep South African restaurants alive, but would also assist those permanently confined to their homes.

Their suggestion was completely ignored.

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