Western Cape ready to do business again

People working in the restaurant, food and alcohol industry, sit at tables that a restaurant placed on a traffic island, to take part in a nationwide protest against provisions in South African government Lockdown legislation, which threatens the survival of the businesses and jobs, in Cape Town city centre, on July 22, 2020. The reintroduction on the ban on alcohol sales and a night curfew by the South African government will have a negative economic impact on the hospitality industry. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

The Western Cape now also faces a daunting unemployment pandemic, hunger and increased levels of poverty. 

Western Cape minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier has welcomed the announcement by president Cyril Ramaphosa that the whole of South Africa will be moving to Alert Level 2.

Maynier said the announcement was a good first step to supporting economic recovery in the Western Cape.

“We are ready to open safely and we are ready to start doing business again in the Western Cape.

“We have long been calling for the opening of the economy, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and so we are particularly pleased to hear that inter-provincial travel can now resume, that the alcohol ban has been lifted, that alcohol may now be served in restaurants, and that businesses such as gyms can now re-open.”

According to Maynier, more details on these changes are likely to be confirmed with the release of the Alert Level 2 regulations by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“As we have with the previous Alert Levels, and in particular for the e-commerce, construction sectors and tourism sectors, where we think that consideration can be made for the further safe opening of the economy we will make submissions to national government requesting this.

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“During lockdown, together with Wesgro, we ran the “One Day” campaign to support the tourism industry in the Western Cape and also remind people that one day Cape Town and the Western Cape will again be open for them to explore and experience.

“For those living in South Africa, that day is now here. And so, we will be launching our “We Are Open” domestic tourism campaign in September to encourage all to explore the Western Cape and safely discover the best that we have to offer as an affordable, world-class destination.”

Maynier said the campaign will also include their “Kids Stay Free” initiative to encourage families to take advantage of the offers for children to stay free at participating travel and accommodation partners across the Western Cape.

David Maynier, Western Cape minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities. Image: Supplied.

“Businesses have been working hard to implement the health and safety guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace so that their staff and their customers are safe, and we have been working hard alongside them to provide the tools and resources they need to do this.

“We must remain vigilant in maintaining these safety guidelines, and so, we will also be launching our #StaySafeSaveJobs campaign to remind businesses about the many tools and resources we have available to assist them to ensure that businesses can stay safe, that they stay open and that together we can save jobs in the Western Cape.

READ MORE: Booze and tobacco bans gone for now, but FITA continues legal fight

“Times have been tough for businesses and people in the province who have had to make many sacrifices to allow us to prepare our healthcare system to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Cape. We all pulled together, and we worked together to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape.”

He said that the fight is not yet over. The Western Cape now also faces a daunting unemployment pandemic, hunger and increased levels of poverty.

“And so, in order to overcome this second pandemic, we will all have to continue pulling together, and working together as we did before.

“We remain committed to supporting businesses through this crisis, and look forward to working together in our continued effort to save jobs and build a stronger, more resilient future for the Western Cape. Let’s get to work.”

This article first appeared on George Herald and was republished with permission.

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