JOHANNESBURG -- A South African Indian-origin owner of a fast food store in Durban is at the centre of a controversy for charging people 20 rand to use the toilets on the premises.
Charging R20 (₹95) was the only way to keep away the hordes of people visiting the beachfront who abused the facilities that his staff maintained for the free use of his customers who bought food at his premises, the owner of Jolly Grubber, Junaid Moola, said in a statement.
A customer, Reza Khan, posted on Facebook a receipt they were given for R40 after they were initially stopped from using the toilet before they paid.
"My cousin asked if we could not buy cooldrinks instead, but we were told cooldrinks don't qualify," Khan posted.
"In my whole entire existence on this earth, this is the most expensive p*** I've ever taken," Khan said.
The restaurant has a sign at the entrance to the premises:
"Toilets are for use of Jolly Grubber customers only. Buying just drinks will not qualify you to use these facilities. Therefore, it is unlawful dishonest, theft, haraam to use this facility without permission. Service charge of R20 per person payable at the counter. This is not a public toilet."
"This is not a question about humanity, compassion nor religion, there are free public facilities just a stone's throw away," said the restaurant, which also maintains a Namaaz Room for Muslim patrons to perform their prayers free of charge.
A municipal working in the department licensing public restaurants, who asked not to be identified, said that while a R20 charge did appear to be "a bit exorbitant", the restaurant was well within its rights to charge a fee for the use of its facilities without contravening its licensing conditions, which only required that any restaurant ensure that it has toilet facilities available for its customers.
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