WATCH: This ‘Busy Corner’ sizzles, welcoming booze return

Establishments such as Imbizo Shisanyama may now sell alcohol to customers on the weekend but are limited to adhering to the 10pm curfew.

As bars and taverns received a thumbs up from government to open this week, under strict social distancing measures and a 10pm curfew, one establishment in Tembisa, known locally as the Busy Corner (Imbizo Shisanyama) shows just how hard-hit the industry was during the ban on alcohol for liquor-dependent outlets.

Rita Zwane, founding director of the Imbizo Shisanyama said that although the prohibition of alcohol sales had good intentions, it almost crippled many businesses which relied on alcohol sales to break even.

Noting that profit margins were higher with liquor sales, she told The Citizen that it would be a challenge to regain customers numbers while taking care of employees who were reliant on liquor sales to make a living.

The shisanyama’s acting manager, Connie Maseko, agreeing to the new norm of outlets opening but applying preventative measures to combat the pandemic said customers were happy to return to their preferred local place.

“We also happy to have more staff members coming back.”

She said strict measures have been taken to adhere to the gazetted regulations.

Footage shows the bustling prominent corner in the Tembisa township preparing to welcome customers after a near-crippling period for the hospitality industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

New gazetted regulations now allow liquor sales by licenced outlets between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday.

Establishments such as the Busy Corner may now sell alcohol to customers on the weekend but are regulated by a 10pm curfew.

Such establishments will have to take into account that staff are also by law expected to meet the 10pm curfew, spelling a challenging balance for the industry.

READ: Your weekend guide to where to go in the city

Licenced liquor outlets, while permitted to trade betwe en Monday and Thursday, will be closed on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. One can, however, purchase alcohol for on-site consumption on weekends until the legislated curfew.

Lesego sanitises her hands at Busy Corner Shisanyama in Johannesburg, 19 August 2020., during The Citizen’s visit. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

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