MARIENTAL - Following the introduction of a countrywide curfew last year, some residents of Mariental are feeling the impact on their businesses, especially bar owners and those in the transportation industry.
Bar owners stressed that they have strengthened Covid-19 precautionary measures in their establishments, hence they are of the opinion that the curfew needs to be adjusted.
The current curfew starts at 22h00 until 04h00.
“We are closing at 20h00, we are losing out on customers because most people knock off at 17h00, so they only have two hours, we are no more making money. I think they should at least lift the curfew until midnight and at least bars can close at 22h00,” said Styvo Malakia, a bar owner in Mariental.
Malakia stressed that he is self-employed and only depends on the bar to generate income.
He said his customers are aware of the Covid-19 regulations and he keeps a register inside the bar as well as hand sanitiser.
According to Moses Marcus, a local taxi operator, the time to transport customers around town is now limited as everyone, including the taxi drivers should be off the streets by 22h00.
“Time is limited. If it is 22h00 and you are found in the street without a valid reason, you will be in trouble.
Customers are also scared because many lost their jobs and if it continues this way, things will be worse, hence the curfew hour needs to be adjusted from 22h00 to midnight,” Marcus reiterated.
Some community members however are happy with the curfew and are encouraging the law enforcers to monitor those operating after curfew in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Sophia Kooper, a resident of Nuwe Lokasie is of the opinion that the curfew is what will save many people from contracting the virus.
“It is a good thing that the President said people should be off the streets. The time is right because when corona preventative measures were implemented, there were fewer complaints in the street and we could rest,” she said.
Kooper added that although the curfew was meant to regulate movements, some community members are not adhering to the regulations.
“I also want the President to relook at the current situation because some bars are still operating after the curfew and we want the police to stop the bars and people walking in the street after the curfew because we still get a lot of complaints in our area because of these movements,” she urged.
Another resident in agreement with the curfew is Michael Witbooi, who pleaded with the community to be patient.
“I support the President’s decision and we should just be patient with the preventative measures put in place,” he said.
The President recently announced that government intervention measures to close bars at 20h00 in the evening remains in force.
Equally, the wearing of masks will remain mandatory and public gatherings indoors are still restricted to 50 people.
The intervention measures will remain in place until 31 March.