South Africa: The Story of a Cape Town Street – From Bustle to Bust Thanks to Covid-19

Empty shopfronts. Closed restaurants. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in every corner of the country – affecting livelihoods and wallets. On Bree Street, a familiar sense of dread has returned to restaurateurs and traders following the introduction of Level 4 lockdown restrictions.

“It’s a ghost town,” said Amiena Jassiem, the manager at Relabelled. Jassiem was leaning against the front of the retail shop, scoping the empty street. Moments before she had been hailing potential customers – “sale inside!” she shouted – in an attempt to lure them through the doors.

“If you don’t call them, nobody comes in,” Jassiem told Daily Maverick when we visited the Cape Town CBD on Wednesday evening.

Cape Town’s historical Bree Street is in the retail hub of the CBD, and is home to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels and several high-end clothing shops.

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According to Central City Improvement District (CCID) CEO Tasso Evangelinos, there are 87 retailers on the street, including restaurants. “This is about 8% of all retailers in the CCID footprint in the central city,” said Evangelinos.

“Since the start of the nationwide lockdown on 27 March 2020, the economic effects have been deeply felt in the…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-07-09 16:01:12

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