The Restaurant Collective remains dedicated to promoting representation and parity for all stakeholders within the industry. Through ongoing engagement with the government and other key stakeholders, we actively work towards achieving our organisational imperatives. By advocating for the interests of the industry, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all.
Moreover, our commitment extends to the future of the industry and the sector as a whole. We recognise the importance of forward-thinking strategies and initiatives to ensure its long-term sustainability and success. We empower restaurant owners, operators, and industry leaders to adapt, thrive, and stay ahead of the curve. By embracing collaboration, we collectively drive the industry forward, ensuring its resilience and long-term success. Together, we are shaping a future where restaurants thrive, customers are delighted, and the sector continues to evolve and flourish.
The tourism, hospitality, and restaurant sectors share a symbiotic relationship. This interconnected ecosystem caters to the diverse needs of various business and leisure audiences, making significant contributions to the country’s economy. The continued prosperity of these sectors is vital for both the industry itself and the overall economic well-being of the country.
The Restaurant Collective actively engages with government stakeholders on key industry matters. As a strategic advocate for the sit-down restaurant industry, these engagements include dialogues to address matters pertinent to the interests of the collective.
Lobbying and Advocacy
- Foster relationships with Government departments, statutory bodies, and industry associations
- Interface with essential legislation and regulations affecting the restaurant business
- Work with Government and strategic stakeholders to address industry challenges and find solutions
The Energy Crisis: Department of Trade Industry and Competition
Discussions with the Chief Director have taken place to gain insights into the Department’s focus on addressing the Electricity State of Disaster Regulations, to identify potential opportunities and explore ways to support restaurants in overcoming their challenges.
Tourism: Department of Tourism
In May 2023, introductory discussions took place with the Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille. An opportunity exists for The Restaurant Collective to collaborate with a representative body of the travel and tourism sector – a key partner association to the Department of Tourism – and thus an ideal partner for The Restaurant Collective to engage with. Plans are underway to move this relationship forward.
- Regularise employment practices in the industry
- Represent industry in critical labour discussions at key statutory and regulatory bodies
- Partner with the SETAs to fund skills development initiatives
Employment Legislation: Department of Labour
The Restaurant Collective participated in discussions with the Department of Labour to explore the possibility of registering as an Employer Organisation (EO). The engagement yielded positive and informative feedback and guidance. In addition, we have been engaging with the Bargaining Councils and other Employer Organisations to seek representation and have a seat at the table. Upcoming legislation e.g., Employment Services Amendment Bill will be fully engaged with to obtain an industry position that will be communicated with the relevant government departments and agencies.
Immigration Policy and Employment of Foreign Nationals: Department of Home Affairs
Several member meetings were held, to better understand the approach that the association should take in dealing with the impending deadline of the ZEP Permits as well as the increased labour inspections which were on the increase resulting in fines and arrests of restaurant staff and owners. Meetings with our legal counsel, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and Advocate Steven Budlender, who had represented the Helen Suzman Foundation, followed our meeting with the DHA Immigration DDG, Yusuf Simon and his team were also instructive and provided us with strategic direction in terms of how we deal with this issue. The landmark High Court ruling on the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) policy matter in June 2023 holds significant bearing on further engagements with the Department of Home Affairs.
Skills Development and the Critical Skills List
The inter-connectedness of policy issues and the focus on the high levels of unemployment, job creation and skills development remain critical to the industry, and to the country at large, as evidenced in key government departments strategic plans namely, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Labour, and the Department of Tourism. Key discussions are planned with The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) to seek a strategic working relationship and partnership to develop training and skills initiatives for the industry.
Marketing and Networking
- Develop networking opportunities to bring together all role players in the broader restaurant ecosystem
- Partner with suppliers and trade partners to create marketing opportunities and membership benefits
The Restaurant Collective will be working closely with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), who is the umbrella body representing business in the travel and tourism sector. The association has a formal relationship with Department of Tourism which will allow inclusion in key stakeholder engagements; have the sit-down restaurant industry views and positions onboarded; and be kept abreast of critical industry matters.
Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) and related industry bodies
In the spirit of collaboration (‘together, we can go far”), The Restaurant Collective met with FEDHASA to explore a working relationship and collaborative partnerships for better alignment on strategic matters. We will continually seek to work with related organisations and bodies to achieve the optimum outcome for all.
The voice of the sit-down restaurant industry; engage with the media on all industry related matters