The executive mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to reopen the leisure sector of the economy.
The tourism and leisure sector was closed after South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown was announced on March 26.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Plato said he had written to Ramaphosa to “strongly urge him” to reopen the sector as this would assist in rebuilding the City’s economy, which is on the verge of collapse.
Plato said it was clear the tourism, hospitality and related sectors needed to get back to work as hundreds of thousands of jobs were on the line and “we cannot afford to wait any longer”.
He said if these sectors were reopened, all health and safety measures would be put in place.
Plato said the request was not made lightly as South Africa heads into the predicted peak of coronavirus infections, but was made in view of the extensive health and safety protocols that the sectors had already implemented for the reopening of business.
“Cape Town’s economy is highly reliant on tourism and related sectors for jobs and economic activity and we know, according to the latest information from Statistics South Africa, that the tourism sector added R18.1-billion to our economy and supported just over 113 000 jobs in 2018,” Plato said.