Johannesburg pub turns to crowdfunding to keep staff afloat

The Jolly Roger has raised close to R110,000 to help its 28 employees during the lockdown.
The Jolly Roger has raised close to R110,000 to help its 28 employees during the lockdown.
Image: 123RF/arinahabich

The Jolly Roger, a pub in Parkhurst, northern Johanesburg, had raised R109,000 by Monday in a crowdfunding drive to help pay staff during the lockdown.

In its plea on on April 8, titled Help Save the Jolly Roger, owner LeBrun Rossouw said during times when physical distancing was mandatory, this was a death sentence for businesses like the pub.

“The reality is that this leaves us closed for an unforeseen period,  and if we do reopen it’ll take time to get back to 'business as usual'. As a result, our staff will be hit the hardest,” Rossouw said.

He said the reality was Covid-19 could not only destroy his business, but leave 28 employees without jobs and strip them of their livelihoods.

“This is why we’re reaching out to you today. We need your help.”

Many businesses affected by the lockdown are taking a massive financial knock.

Fast food chain Anat recently resorted to crowdfunding in a bid to keep its doors open after the lockdown and save 600 jobs.

Rossouw said donations would go directly to staff so jobs could be saved.

Those willing to donate will qualify for a half-priced pizza when visiting the restaurant during the first two weeks of reopening after the lockdown.

Those who donate R250 will receive half price pizzas for two weeks.

“Our business has been hit hard, but with your donation or sharing of this post, we can ensure our staff won’t become a casualty of this pandemic,” Rossouw said.

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