Home News #jobssavelives: From AKA to Mashaba, SA backs restaurants

#jobssavelives: From AKA to Mashaba, SA backs restaurants

Saving lives are important, but so are saving livelihoods, AKA tells his 4.5 million followers


Whether government took notice is another story, but thousands of South Africans today united behind the #jobssavelives campaign to try and save the hospitality, restaurant and wine industries from a covid-19 death.

This time around, though, the mostly silent protests were not marked by violence nor the destruction of property. Instead, an almost eerily silence overtook many of the nation’s once bustling cities and towns. The message was loud and clear, though: everyone will suffer if the approximately 800 000 people in these industries permanently lose their jobs.

The “Million Seats on the Streets” protest was initiated by the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa), but quickly spread like wildfire on social media. And today, thousands of chefs, cooks, waitrons, farmers and their workers as well as other related services employees were bowled over by the massive support. At the heart of the protest was the controversial liquor sales ban in accordance with government’s covid-19 regulations. This continues to have a bloody impact on many industries.

Support for the hospitality, restaurant and wine industries came from all corners of Mzansi. The award-winning rapper AKA posted a series of tweets showing them some love. Supa Mega reminded his 4.5 million followers that although saving lives were important, so were livelihoods. He tweeted, “The alcohol industry employs so many people and is so large that it makes up 4.4% of the GDP (look it up, it’s a FACT). You cannot simply switch that off without a PLAN and without WARNING.”

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Michael Ratcliffe, a highly respected figure in both the local and global wine industries, also pleaded with pres. Cyril Ramaphosa to overturn the ban. He was nominated for the USA Wine Star Award for Global Innovator of the Year in 2015 and 2017.

Among the media who reported on the protest were GroundUp photojournalist Ashraf Hendricks. He tweeted that protestors in Bree Street in the Mother City were chanting “Jobs save lives” while police tried their best to keep protestors off the street. Herman Mashaba, the former mayor of Johannesburg and People’s Dialogue founder, also pledged his full support. Musician Neil Büchner attended the Drakenstein protests.

#jobssavelives: “Biggest restaurant protest ever in SA”

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Sinesipho Tom
Sinesipho Tom
Sinesipho Tom is an audience engagement journalist at Food for Mzansi. Before joining the team, she worked in financial and business news at Media24. She has an appetite for news reporting and has written articles for Business Insider, Fin24 and Parent 24. If you could describe Sinesipho in a sentence you would say that she is a small-town girl with big, big dreams.


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