CAPE TOWN - Cape Town restaurants will need to wait until the end of the month to challenge COVID-19 lockdown regulations in court.
The matter set down for Tuesday but has been postponed for two weeks.
The applicants want all eateries with a valid liquor licence to be allowed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption.
After the initial alcohol ban was lifted, it's estimated about half the more than 34,000 trauma admissions to public hospitals across the country per week were linked to alcohol consumption.
However, the applicants argue there's no evidence that consumption at licenced restaurants contributes to the overburdening of trauma units.
Owner at Chef's Warehouse Liam Tomlin said: “Most of our guests will enjoy a bottle of wine or about three or four during a dining period. So, I really don't believe the problems that the government are saying are related to our industry at all.”
The minister argues that allowing the sale of specific types of liquor in identified industries would not provide the effective relief the healthcare system needs during a surge in COVID-19 cases.
She adds that even though the application refers specifically to lifting the liquor ban in licensed restaurants, taverns, bars, shebeens and hotels will also be allowed to sell alcohol in unlimited quantities, as many of those establishments also serve a “meal”.