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South African Eateries Go Hungry

On Wednesday, restaurants across the country took part in the ‘million seats on the street’ protest to appeal to government to relax COVID-19 lockdown regulations. The industry has been hit hard by the pandemic; with many owners saying it’s been almost impossible to break even. Although restaurants have re-opened for sit-down services under strict regulations, no alcohol may be consumed on the premises. The nation’s hospitality sector is one of the hardest-hit by government restrictions imposed at the end of March to curb the spread of the coronavirus. At the end of June, restaurants were allowed to offer sit-down services again, but at limited capacity and without serving alcohol. The Restaurant Association of South Africa, said about 400,000 jobs have been lost in the sector since the end of March, with more businesses closing their doors permanently every day. A recent survey by Esus-Group found about 67% of restaurants were receiving less than 20% of their usual monthly turnover compared to July last year, while 90% of fine-dining restaurants had stayed shut since the lockdown began.