Premier Alan Winde’s statement on World Tourism Day 2021
By 23 September 2021, the Western Cape had a total of 434 new cases daily based on the 7-day moving average. According to the technical definition, we would have exited our third wave when new infections are 15% of the peak, or 530 cases a day on average.
While we await the official confirmation from the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium, it is clear that the Western Cape’s third wave has come to an end. We also note the announcement yesterday by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa that the third wave in South Africa overall, in terms of this definition, is over.
That is why today, as we celebrate World Tourism Day, I call for the Western Cape to be moved to Alert Level 1 immediately with the termination of the National State of Disaster as soon as possible.
It is not fair on our small businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, to have restrictions in place for a day longer than they are required to protect the health system. We must get the balance right in saving both lives and jobs, and we must be agile in ensuring that changes are made as soon as possible.
This World Tourism Day I also call on South Africans from across our country to come and visit the Western Cape and enjoy our world-class tourism offer. I likewise encourage our own residents to explore the different regions of our province to see for themselves why the rest of the world loves coming here every year. In doing so, you will also help create jobs at a time when our economy needs it the most.
Lastly, I want to use this occasion to encourage residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines don’t only save lives, they save jobs too. This is specifically the case in tourism. Travelers from around the world are looking closely at our vaccination rates, and we need to get them as high as possible so that more and more people return to our county during our peak summer season. This is desperately needed if we are to grow our economy and recover.