After 212 years of service, The Perseverance Tavern on Buitenkant Street has sounded the call for the final round. It is being forced to retrench its employees in the face of the alcohol ban, and there is no end in sight, as Government announced alcohol and cigarettes will remain banned for the duration of lockdown.

“We have been shut since March and hung on to our staff as best we could in the hope that we could be pouring cold beers in the near future, but unfortunately we have had to let go of our team given the uncertainty of when that might be,” the pub wrote on Facebook. “It is a dreadful decision to have to make in a country where unemployment is already such a problem, but the reality is that the decision was made for us by the ban on alcohol with no date in sight for its return.”
“Although the pints have stopped flowing for now, don’t fear – when the taps are turned back on, we will still be the oldest pub in South Africa.”

“It’s brutal. With every day that goes by, more and more establishments are shutting up shop,” said owner James Charton to News24.

He also believes the hospitality industry has been targeted by National Government, and that widespread job losses and closures have inevitable.

Homeless people have now reportedly taken up residence at the tavern’s outside seating area, and Charton says this only mirrors the economic fate of Percy’s.

“One can see just how quickly these old, historic buildings start to show signs of neglect when you are not there trading every day. The situation outside really brings to life the economic realities of the city and the country at large, and are a stark reminder of how bad things are.”

“At least our tables are bringing some shelter from the harsh Cape winter to those most in need, I suppose,” he added.

Picture: Facebook/Perseverance Tavern

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