Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, has informed that Municipalities have lost more than $2 billion in revenue from entertainment and advertising fees over the last 18 months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He shared: “It is a significant portion of the revenues of the local authorities. We are looking at measures that will allow us to consider how we approach it, but we also have to be mindful that we did make some concessions, and some of the players didn’t live up to the commitment that they gave, and while we understand the hardships that those persons in the sector experience, we also have to look at the wider picture.”
He is reminding persons that even though the curfew hours have been reduced, the restrictions on the entertainment sector have not been removed.
“Let me say that we have not removed the restrictions on entertainment, so parties and night clubs are not permitted to be opened. So, any party that takes place, and any night club that is opened engaging in music and dancing is doing so in contravention of the Disaster Risk Management Act,” Mr. McKenzie said.
The Minister pointed out that the shortening of the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve curfew hours, which will start at 1:00 a.m. on Christmas and New Year’s Day respectively, was done intentionally.
“Grand market night (Christmas Eve) is one of the biggest nights for commercial business in the country, and while we understand the issues, we also have to be mindful that persons need to create and have a livelihood,” he said.