Many in the restaurant industry have been left uncertain about the future of their establishments since the announcement of the lockdown from Thursday, 26 March 2020, at midnight. The initial communication from the South African Government was not clear as many consider the restaurant industry to be an essential service in every community; unfortunately, the industry will have to go into lockdown along with the rest of the country later this week.
Important Communication from Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, is below:
“Today the Minister of Trade and Industry published a special Gazette; it has been published and offers relief to restaurants. Direct your attention to paragraph 3.1 of the gazette which is self-explanatory Category of agreements or practices exempted.“
3. The Minister hereby exempts the following category of agreement or practice amongst and between designated retail tenants (as set out in Annexure A) and retail property landlords from the application of sections 4 and 5 of the Act, if undertaken at the request of, and in coordination with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, for the sole purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic national disaster and which exclude communication and agreements in respect of prices unless specifically authorised by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition:
This gazette is also available free online at www.gpwonline.co.za
- 3.1. Agreements or practices amongst and between designated retail tenants and retail property landlords with the sole purpose of ensuring the survival of tenants of retail properties during the COVID-19 national disaster, which are limited to agreements or practices in respect of:
3.1.1. Payment holidays and/or rental discounts for tenants.
3.1.2. Limitations on the eviction of tenants.
3.1.3. The suspension or adjustment to lease agreement clauses that restrict the designated retail tenants from undertaking reasonable measures required to protect viability during the national disaster.
- 3.2. To qualify for an exemption, such agreements must extend to all South African retail tenants in the designated retail lines, including small, independent retailers, unless otherwise authorised by the Minister or the Competition Commission.
Covid-19 Block Exemption for the Retail Property Sector, 2020
Today the Minister of Trade and Industry published a special Gazette with exemption regulations that enable shopping mall tenants who are competitors to meet and to coordinate activities. It allows them to reach agreements with shopping mall owners and to address matters such as payment holidays or rental discounts, as well as limitations on evictions. The exemption covers three categories of retailers, personal care functions, Restaurants and Clothing, footwear and home-textile shops.”
Wendy Alberts has made herself available for advice on obtaining loans, assistance with leases, information regarding the funding or any other industry-related challenges you may be facing – you can WHATSAPP her on 083 661 9000.
We will continue to publish communication received from Wendy Alberts to this page as we receive them.
UPDATED: 25 MARCH 2020 @ 10:00