FEDHASA, the leading voice of hospitality in South Africa, has reiterated its commitment to complying with the stringent health and hygiene protocols in place to stem the spread of COVID-19, and has called on every South African to help the industry comply with these.
“FEDHASA supports Government’s efforts to flatten the curve by instituting additional restrictions. We believe that adequate policing of these will be an important measure in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and urge all South Africans to comply with the strict protocols that we have put in place to ensure their safety while they frequent our establishments,” says Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA Chairperson.
However, FEDHASA acknowledges that the adjusted Level 3 regulations announced last night will have a detrimental impact on many hospitality businesses, as trading may no longer be financially viable for many of these.
“The adjusted regulations come at a time when many hospitality businesses were hoping to recoup some of the losses incurred during the COVID-19 lockdown. Once schools resume after 15 January, that window of opportunity will be lost,” says Anderson.
The result of these new restrictions means that these businesses may feel compelled to halt trading during the next 18 days or reduce their workforce as a result of lower demand. FEDHASA is disappointed that Government has confirmed it is not prepared to reconsider an extension of UIF TERS which would help save livelihoods in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Furthermore, FEDHASA believes delays in expediting the rollout of the vaccination programme will put South Africa at a disadvantage when it comes to restoring international travel.
“We need to bring South Africa in line with other countries that have already started this process so that the destination can be considered internationally viable. The roll-out delay to the second quarter of 2021, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will have a significant negative impact on our tourism and hospitality sector,” adds Anderson.
FEDHASA will continue to engage with Government through the appropriate channels to highlight how the regulations impact the tourism and hospitality sector specifically and to lobby on behalf of its members for a trading environment that balances saving lives and livelihoods.