Level 2: Restaurants face 'shut-down threat' – due to takeaway alcohol sales

Some restaurants are not playing by the rules, and the government has now got wind of it: The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has noted with concern the non-compliance by some eateries since the country moved to alert Level 2 of lockdown two weeks ago – with some issues relating to the sale of 'takeaway alcohol'.

Restaurants 'may lose licenses' over takeaway alcohol complaints

Kubayi-Ngubane explained that complaints have been made by patrons, who have spotted several offences being committed while visiting these restaurants. Employees and other industry professionals have also voiced their concerns. The minister said on Tuesday that these businesses risk 'losing their licenses' by exhibiting reckless behaviour.

"We have received numerous complaints from ordinary law-abiding citizens, other operators, and employees about the situation in these restaurants during Level 2. This does not only risk these businesses' licenses, but it also endangers the safety of their loyal customers and dedicated workers."Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Level 2: Complaints made about restaurants and booze

The problems raised with department include:

  1. Restaurants ignoring the laws of curfew, and staying open between the hours of 22:00 – 4:00.

  2. Failure to enforce social distancing or mask-wearing amongst customers.[*]Allowing customers to buy 'takeaway alcohol' – an act which is forbidden by the State of Disaster laws at all times.

When – and where – can South Africans buy alcohol?

The Minister confirmed she has now written letters to restaurants, insisting and appealing yet again for their co-operation. She said the sector cannot risk having any the hard-earned gains made thus far reversed, as this will have a devastating impact on the recovery of the sector.

Although liquor stores can only sell booze from Monday to Thursday, restaurants are allowed to serve drinks whenever they are open. However, they are restricted from allowing patrons to leave the premises with an alcoholic product, as it serves to circumvent the guidelines published in August. For now, takeaway alcohol remains off-limits at these venues.

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