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Restaurants slap DTI with legal ultimatum on ban on wining while dining

29 June 2020 8:29 AM

Restaurant Association CEO Wendy Alberts says they are happy to discuss with DTI issues such as how much alcohol may be served.

Wendy Alberts, CEO of the SA Restaurant Association talks to Refilwe Moloto about the seven-day ultimatum their legal team sent the Minister of Trade and Industry calling for him to lift the ban on alcohol sales at restaurants which are now allowed to have sit-down customers.

This issue needed to be referred to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) rather than that of Tourism.

We have certainly written a very strong lawyer's letter to Minister Patel (DTI) and we have given them seven days for them to answer us on this non-equivocal reality that there is no restaurants that are allowed to sell alcohol.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

She says they are asking for a report on the detailed risk mitigation that the department has allocated in its assessment in prohibiting restaurants to serve alcohol.

We find this completely ridiculous that they had not allowed it.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

She explains the association's original document to government outlining the plan to rebuild the industry. This included the fact that restaurants pay premium liquor licenses and are governed by liquor license laws.

Whilst we respect that the Minister of Tourism does not have the mandate to do this, we have been pushed back to the DTI so we have given then seven days to lift the alcohol ban.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

She says they are happy to work with the DTI and be included in discussions of how issues such as how much alcohol may be served.

We are not unreasonable. Our restaurants need to be able to have alcohol with their meals.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

She says restaurants have complied with all regulations and no compensation.

We are told that everybody understands the hardships we have gone through and how many jobs are being lost, and how many have closed...But do they really care? Now to save the industry we need the alcohol ban to be lifted in restaurants.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

Alberts reminds patrons who plan to go to restaurants from this week as they reopen that it has been a very hard time for these establishments and to cut them some slack.

Support them and come in and embrace them.

Wendy Alberts, CEO - Restaurant Association

Listen to the interview below:


29 June 2020 8:29 AM

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