CITY OF CAPE TOWN
24 JULY 2020
STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR, ALDERMAN DAN PLATO
Hospitality Industry should be supported by national government, not shut down by the police
I am appalled at video footage showing the aggressive conduct of the South African Police Service (SAPS) today as they used heavy handed tactics against peaceful hospitality industry protesters outside parliament this morning.
It is unacceptable that a peaceful protest by business owners and employees fearing for the loss of their livelihoods, is met with water cannons and stun grenades. Reported claims from the SAPS members on the scene that ‘protests are not allowed under lockdown’ does not hold water as several protests have been allowed outside parliament during lockdown without the use of such intimidation tactics.
The hospitality and tourism sectors are vital to Cape Town’s economy, but because of the national government regulations, they are facing complete financial ruin. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are in jeopardy, putting further strain on government resources, and limiting efforts to grow our economy.
In Cape Town and the Western Cape, we have done our part to prepare for the coronavirus in line with the original purpose of the lockdown. National government cannot continue with regulations that destroy industries that have taken adequate measures at considerable cost to ensure they can open safely.
I call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to give urgent attention to the legitimate concerns of our hospitality and tourism sectors. Various sensible proposals have been made by the representative bodies for these industries, and national government can no longer ignore their plight.
Jobs save lives Mr President, you have a duty to respond to the cries of the hospitality sector and its many thousands of employees.
Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town