Business calls for consideration ahead of presidential address

Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association, spoke with eNCA's Shahan Ramkissoon. Courtesy of #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Business leaders are calling for the government to put effort into a regional approach to lockdowns in order to deliver the best outcomes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on government's interventions to combat the surge in coronavirus cases in hotspot areas in some parts of South Africa.

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Business wants lockdowns to be kept localised, allowing the rest of the country to function as close to normal as possible.

It also wants clear indications of which rules will apply.

The country is expecting an 8 percent decline in growth this year, with the number of jobless South Africans swelling to 11,1 million people as the various sectors laid off workers because of COVID-19.

Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association, said the restaurant industry has been diligent in collecting contact details and measuring their customer's temperatures but said the government has not communicated with them when carrying out contact tracing.

READ: SA fears COVID-19 comeback as cluster outbreaks flare

Alberts said, "if COVID is existing and we are a super spreader and we are a high-target area for COVID, why have the authorities not been in to talk to any of our establishments?" 

"The next question that we have is: we want the scientific evidence that our clients that we are responsible for, have brought COVID into our restaurants. We certainly have not been given that."

"We've given [the] government three months to engage with us, talk to our establishments and look at solutions. If we are spreading COVID, what mechanisms can we do to work together, instead of destroying our industry again and destroying the economy?" she said.


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