Covid-19 lockdown: Need to move faster on relief, and split tourism sector

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane convened an emergency special virtual meeting with tourism MECs from the various provinces on Friday.
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane convened an emergency special virtual meeting with tourism MECs from the various provinces on Friday.
Image: NTSWE MOKOENA

The issue of whether some subsectors within the broader tourism sector can ease back into operations sooner is under discussion by government.

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane convened an emergency special virtual meeting with tourism MECs from the various provinces on Friday, her department said in a statement on Sunday.

Acknowledging that the impact of Covid-19 “continues to negatively impact on the sector far more than any other sector of the economy”, the department said the meeting discussed a risk-adjusted approach, as well as an update on the relief fund rollout.

The officials “committed to devising measures to support the phased opening up of the tourism subsectors informed by government’s risk-adjusted approach”. Further talks will be held.

Commenting on the R200m Tourism Relief Fund, the meeting “reiterated the need to improve co-ordination and the pace of implementation of the intervention measures necessary for the recovery of the sector”.

It again noted that these would be in line with the sector contributing “positively to its national objectives of economic transformation”.

“MINMEC resolved to champion a national compact for tourism recovery and to investigate more measures to ensure continuous support to tourism businesses to adapt and thrive in a new post-crisis era, and explore innovative capacity building programmes aimed at enabling the travel and tourism sector to be more inclusive, robust and resilient.”

SA's tourism industry this week submitted proposals to the government as it lobbies to be allowed to begin operating under level 3 conditions instead of level 1, in the hope of staving off a jobs bloodbath.

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