Employees from various hospitality and restaurant businesses held various protests across South Africa on Friday. The protests were to raise their objections to some of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The action comes two days after another countrywide protest by restaurants where thousands took to the streets to call on the government to lift the curfew and do away with the ban on smoking and alcohol.
In Cape Town, stun grenades and water cannons were used to disperse protesters marching in Roeland and Plein Streets outside Parliament. They were carrying posters reading “#JobsSaveLives” and “#ServeUsPlease”.
At least four people were arrested. SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said, “Please be advised that Public Order Police took action to dispersed a group of about 200 people who were protesting earlier. Four men aged between 24 and 59 were arrested and were given fines for contravening of Disaster Management Act regulations.”
On Friday, Ashleigh Perremore, an organiser of the “Serve Us Please” movement said, “The aim is to show solidarity within the hospitality, tourism, food and liquor industry … we are not going to just sit down and let them kill our industries.”
Perremore joined hundreds of protesters who lined up outside Parliament in Cape Town city centre while maintaining social distancing.
Police arrived in numbers and informed the group that the gathering was illegal under the disaster management act. When protesters refused to disperse, police used water canons and stun grenades. Police then started patrolling the city centre telling everyone to “clear the area”, but protesters remained in scattered groups.