Note: There is an important update to this statement which you can read here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/flip-flop-presidency-accommodation-leisure-unacceptable
We welcome the confirmation by the Presidency of South Africa last night (10 July 2020) on Twitter, that accommodation for leisure is open for travel within provinces under Alert Level 3.
What this means is that families who live in the province can now spend a weekend away at their favourite getaway spot, and enjoy the best that the Western Cape has to offer, while doing so safely and responsibly
This follows weeks of confusion after the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane stated at a press conference that “accommodation for leisure is not yet allowed”.
This was despite the amended Alert Level 3 regulations clearly indicating that licensed and accredited accommodation establishments are allowed to operate for intra-provincial (within province) travel and are no longer restricted to only accept business travellers or persons requiring quarantine and isolation, and that travel for leisure purposes within the province is permitted.
And so, I and other industry bodies, such as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), had repeatedly called for clarity on the matter.
We also firmly believe that there are further aspects of the sector that can open safely under Alert Level 3, such as parks, beaches and other open-air and outdoor tourism attractions, and so we will continue to engage actively with Minister Kubayi-Ngubane on this matter.
The opening of our economy in the Western Cape is critical to saving jobs and businesses, and so I have no doubt that the clarity now provided on the opening of accommodation for leisure will be well-received by the tourism industry as it has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
The tourism sector has already done a great deal of work to develop health and safety guidelines and protocols aimed at ‘de-risking’ the sector.
We will work hard to support tourism businesses in the Western Cape to implement and enforce these safety measures so that we can reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape.
And, together we can ensure that our loved ones stay safe, and our businesses stay open.
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150