Home / Business Opinion / South Africa’s restaurant business has written one other open letter to the president: right here’s what it says

South Africa’s restaurant business has written one other open letter to the president: right here’s what it says

The sit-down restaurant business is in disaster following the federal government’s determination to ban the sale and distribution of alcohol in South Africa for a second time, one thing it says already has, and can proceed to destroy companies and jobs.

Grace Harding, spokesperson for lobby group, The Restaurant Collective (R|C), has penned an open letter to president Cyril Ramaphosa, during which she outlines a ‘blueprint for restoration’ within the face of an epidemic that has decimated the business regionally in current weeks.

Restaurant Collective’s 12 members – which embrace Tashas, Signature Eating places, Sakhumzi restaurant of Soweto’s Vilakazi Road, Piza e Vino, Ocean Basket and Doppio Zero – have a mixed 512 sit-down eating places across the nation.

That is what the letter mentioned:


Expensive Mr President,

Only one 12 months in the past, the meals and drinks business contributed R6-billion month-to-month to the SA economic system* and employed greater than 500 00zero folks. The vast majority of these companies are SMMEs – small entrepreneurial successes.

Quick ahead 12 months and it’s unlikely any of those companies will make a revenue. No less than 70% have needed to retrench staff to save lots of prices and 40% haven’t acquired any type of authorities mortgage or assist. (Fitch SA Client & Retail Report Q3 2020)

Sit-down eating places are limping

Since opening on June 29th, most are buying and selling under 50% of normal turnover.  This lack of cash-flow has depleted companies and people of any reserves and timing is now important. With out quick motion, these losses are more likely to be everlasting.

There are numerous contributing elements:

  • No alcohol gross sales
  • Curfew of 21h00
  • Clients uncomfortable consuming out
  • Clients have misplaced their jobs – the dire financial state of our nation goes to have the largest affect on our business
  • Implementation of lock down laws (diminished capability attributable to social distancing regulation necessities)

Roadmap to Restoration

The R|C is presenting a blueprint for its personal restoration, however we’d like the ear and the assist of the related authorities departments (together with the Departments of Small Enterprise Growth and Tourism) to make this a actuality. We’d like much less skilled restaurant house owners to be mentored by extra skilled house owners.  We have to arrange a job group of numerous expertise – each non-public and public.

As we start this journey, the quick assist we’d like is:

  • Pace up and resolve the delays in UIF and TERS pay-outs – hundreds of staff are usually not but again at work as restaurant house owners can not afford full employees enhances;
  • Enable restricted alcohol gross sales for licensed sit-down eating places;
  • Amend the present curfew time to 22h00;
  • Cut back VAT by 5% – and preserve it that means till June 2021;
  • Introduce tax incentives for SMMEs which might be in a position to develop employment;
  • Work with banks to scale back bank card and money deposit charges for one 12 months;
  • Cut back charges and utilities prices charged by landlords  by 50% for one 12 months;
  • Impose on utility suppliers to not demand funds whereas eating places had been/are unable to commerce;
  • Proceed PAYE deferments and supply an incentives declare system to assist the long-term means of entrepreneurs to make use of folks with out shouldering tax burdens;
  • Collaborate with key monetary establishments to to tailor merchandise to these industries hardest hit by Covid-19; and
  • Create qualifying standards for these reduction advantages and develop on-line purposes the place an automatic scorecard can help with the allocation of funds.

The Domino Impact

There’s a domino impact – as SA enterprise chief Vusi Thembekwayo has defined – and the affect of eating places closing down consists of:

  • Larger demand on authorities for UIF grants;
  • Diminished taxes;
  • Taxi enterprise is impacted attributable to diminished variety of commuters; this in flip causes a rise in taxi fares for others;
  • SMMEs who assist eating places (bakers, farmers, small wholesalers, bookkeepers) lose earnings;
  • Retailers undergo;
  • Extra shops shut down;
  • Landlords discover themselves with empty properties;
  • Many facilities are owned by pension funds which exacerbates the reliance on authorities pension contributions; and
  • Crime will increase.

Of the estimated 15,00zero sit-down eating places in South Africa (Euromonitor 2017), just one,500 are a part of a franchise group; the bulk are entrepreneurs navigating this devastating disaster alone.

Based mostly on ruinous income losses associated to government-ordered closures, financial realities, and projections, the sit-down restaurant business’s survival depends on a focused collaborative response.  An unprecedented disaster of this scale requires that we work collectively.


Learn: South African alcohol producers ask for tax reduction and alternate options to gross sales ban

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