Local tourism back in business

No need to ask- liquor, smoking, beaches, Gyms and others- have been lifted following the address by President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, as the country moved to level 2.

Also one of the hardest hit industries, tourism will open as throngs of visitors who have been aching to travel, will set their feet at hotels, lodges and restaurants, as local tourism revives economic emancipation.

Sakhumzi Makhubela, the owner of popular eatery Sakhumzi at Orlando, Vilakazi Street, says although the ban has affected dearly his establishment he did welcome the lifting and promised to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

SAB vice president of corporate affairs Zoleka Lisa said: “We believe that opening up the economy and moving the country to alert Level 2 is an important move for our economy. Lifting of the prohibition on the sale of alcohol will come as a welcome relief for our business and industry, and the million livelihoods who depend on us.

“We fully understand that the situation requires vigilance and adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols, and we want to reassure our partners in government that we remain committed to supporting the national effort to curb the spread of this virus. We acknowledge and appreciate the balancing act between managing lives and livelihood

“Over one million livelihoods depend on the alcohol industry’s value chain, and 250,000 livelihoods depend on SAB alone. We are looking forward to reinitiating the process of job creation and responsible growth for the industry, with an ultimate objective of returning confidence to ensure sustainability for all these livelihoods, said Lisa.

Spokesperson for Independent Liquor Traders and Taverns, Lucky Ntimane also welcomed the lifting of the suspension of the sale of alcohol.

Ntimane said though the industry had “been calling for the ban to be lifted sooner”, it appreciated “the pressure that would have been brought to bear on the president on such an important matter as this and we commend the president on this bold step to open the sector and give the industry a fighting chance as we push to save livelihoods”.

Ntimane said guidelines had been prepared to support liquor traders to ensure they comply with Covid-19 regulations, “the details of which will be finalised once the detailed regulations have been finalised”.

He said in instances where liquor traders transgress Covid-19 regulations, “the law will take its course”.

“But we remain hopeful that liquor traders will comply as they had done in the first instance of the lift in the alcohol ban,” Ntimane said.

British American Tobacco spokesperson says they also welcomed the move, though they still have to be granted Court verdict following submissions.

Image (Min of Tourism Mamoloko Kubayi- Ngubane).

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