Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi Ngubane said that although the locking rules for COVID-19 in the tourism industry are simpler to assist enterprises, the virus must be prevented in tight conditions.

Kubayi-Ngubane talked to the Portfolio Committee on Tourism that the Department focuses on promoting domestic tourism as the first stage of recovery.

“The recovery of the entire tourism industry may primarily rely on the handling and controlling of coronavirus locally and globally by travel-ready authorities,” cautioned Kubayi-Ngubane.

Aid Fund for Tourism

The Department told Committee members of the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund that 3,861 businesses and individuals have already been helped to the tune of R50 000.

More than 7 000 demands for assistance were obtained in the Department.

The Director-General for Tourism Victor Tharage has stated that, as reported by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, the Department has lost close to R1 billion of its revised expenditure.

Tharage nevertheless said that although the industry and those who rely on it may find it tough times ahead, its Department will still accomplish all of its updated goals following its modified budget.

The Committee ultimately endorsed the initiatives of the Government to restart the tourism industry.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Supra Mahumapelo, shared appreciation for the Department’s dedication and determination to save the industry and to offset the burden both from the industry and the COVID 19 pandemic.

‘The defeat of coronavirus and the restoration of the visitor industry and our economy are all critical to us. This Committee, therefore, offers you its full help in handling the regulated opening of the tourism industry properly under more expansive public regulations, “said Mahumapelo.

However, he encouraged all related legislative panels to “do so wisely without undue consequences for the safety of innocent persons and the working citizens of the sector” to help the pursuit of reopening tourism industries.

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