'Serve the service industry': What you need to know about the peaceful protest on reopening of various industries

The #ServeUsPlease movement will hold a peaceful protest in Cape Town on Friday from 10am to noon

21 July 2020 - 06:45
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The #ServeUsPlease movement is calling on the government to 'service the citizens in the service industry'.
Image: #ServeUsPlease The #ServeUsPlease movement is calling on the government to 'service the citizens in the service industry'.

A group of representatives from the tourism, food and alcohol, entertainment and affiliated industries are the latest to bemoan the dire situation their sectors are facing under lockdown.

In response to the prohibition on travelling for leisure purposes and on the sale of alcohol, various industries, under the #ServeUsPlease movement, will hold a peaceful protest in Cape Town on Friday from 10am to noon.

Here is what you need to know: 

What the law says 

In his latest address, President Cyril Ramaphosa reintroduced a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol “with immediate effect” and reimposed a curfew from 9pm to 4am. 

gazette signed by co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma confirmed the ban is officially in place.

The gazette also prohibited hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast establishments, to name a few, from accepting bookings for leisure purposes.

Peaceful protest

The #ServeUsPlease movement called on the government to “service the citizens in the service industry”.

The protest's spokesperson, Brent Perremore, said the movement was in support of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, however, it urged the government to consider the impact the ban has had on the hospitality and extended industries.

“The government must allow businesses to operate while adhering to the strict controls that other countries have adopted,” said Perremore. “We understand that the impact of the regulations goes far beyond just bars and restaurants; it has and will continue to have an impact on thousands of businesses across all industries that support the broader hospitality industry, including the tourism, entertainment and media industries.”

Protesting under protocols

#ServeUsPlease called on anyone affected by the regulations to join in the peaceful protest, provided they adhere to the safety protocols.

“Starting at the corners of Buitenkant Street in Cape Town, protesters will create two linked lines down both sides of Roeland Street towards parliament. The lines will continue down Plein Street, turn on to Spin Street then go up Wale Street,” said the protest organisers.

“Participants will maintain a 1.5m distance from one another — measured by a 1.5m ribbon that will link each protester with another — and will wear face masks and carry hand sanitiser. On arrival, protesters will join the line where it ends. Marshalls will be on hand to ensure that safety protocols are adhered to.”

Another protest on Wednesday

A nationwide “Million Seats on the Streets” peaceful protest is set to take place on Wednesday from noon.

This is a different protest from the #ServeUsPlease movement.

TimesLIVE reported that the Restaurant Association of SA (Rasa), which is leading the protest, said restaurants, takeaways and coffee shops across the country will block the roads outside their premises with tables and chairs in a peaceful demonstration.

The protest is expected to last two hours.