The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape are taking every precaution to ensure a safe transition to lockdown level three, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday (May 24) that the country would move to the next level on June 1.

Under level three, domestic travel is allowed for business purposes and, as such, hotels and accommodation establishments can open to business travellers – but not for the leisure market.

The Western Cape had previously announced that it was pushing for lockdown level three to be introduced before the end of May, and the City of Cape Town announced their Economic Action Plan, which featured a focus on tourism recovery.

“While many businesses will thankfully be able to open their doors and begin trading again, we need to be mindful that level three lockdown does not mean that everything will be back to normal from one day to the next,” said Cape Town Executive Mayor, Dan Plato.

Assisting with this reopening, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, announced the launch of the SMME COVID-19 Toolkit initiative, which is expected to help thousands of small businesses to get back to work.

A non-compliance hotline has been established by the Western Cape government so that employees can raise concerns if they feel their workplace isn’t safe and, together with tourism marketing company, Wesgro, and the City of Cape Town, the province is doing all it can to support businesses in terms of workplace safety.

“As we enter the next phase of our struggle against the coronavirus, the actions of businesses to reduce the risks to their employees and customers will be key to determining the fate of our city and our country,” said Vos, emphasising the importance of business compliance with new sanitary regulations.

“To avoid a return to a hard lockdown, it is imperative that every operating business plays by the rules, and implements the necessary health and safety measures as instructed by national government to avoid further negative impacts on their respective sector. I fully understand that all these measures impose a huge burden on businesses, but there simply is no other option if we are going to slow the spread of this virus and keep our economy as open as possible,” concluded Vos.