Tourism is one of the major economic drivers of the Western Cape economy. With Level 2 of the national lockdown officially starting on Tuesday, businesses like restaurants, bars and wine farms are preparing for reopening.
But not all will welcome customers back.
Long Street in Cape Town is popular for its vibrant nightlife. The CBD strip lures locals and international tourists. However, stringent regulations coupled with the ban on alcohol has taken its toll.
The street has fallen quiet. The Long Street vibe, like tourism, could take years to recover.
The provincial government says the move to Level 2 is the first step to recovery.
“We will be launching our ‘We are Open Domestic Tourism Campaign’ next month to encourage visitors to explore the Western Cape and safely discover the best we have to offer as an affordable, world-class destination. We also be launching our ‘Stay Safe, Save Jobs campaign’ to remind businesses about the many tools and resources that 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,” says Western Cape Finance And Economic Opportunities MEC, David Maynier.
SABC’s Mariska Botha reports:
Job losses on the cards
The wine industry has been brought to its knees by the alcohol ban. 18 000 jobs and the continued existence of smaller wineries are on the line.
The province says the second pandemic, that of unemployment, hunger and poverty has to be fought with the same vigour as COVID- 19.
“We still have restrictions in place. Let’s still do it safely within those restrictions then it doesn’t force the government to close down or bring back further restrictions. We can do this responsibly. We continue with our social distancing, masks, hand sanitising, we keep slowing the spread and then you can actually look at how we can push back the curfew further or even take it away. We can bring back international flights. We can start fighting for the next stage,” says Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde.
The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) at Cape Town International Airport says measures in place will ensure the safety of travellers.
Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the move to Level 2, but says further easing of restrictions is vital to save more jobs.
In the video below, the SABC News looks at the impact of the lockdown on restaurants:
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