Last night, (10 July 2020) the Presidency of South Africa confirmed on Twitter that accommodation for leisure is open for travel within provinces under Alert Level 3.
This confirmed what President Cyril Ramaphosa originally announced and indeed what our legal interpretation of the current regulations permit.
However, this morning the Presidency flip flopped by deleting the tweet and then a few hours later retweeted a new graphic with accommodation for leisure removed.
Such flip flopping by the Presidency is completely unacceptable. At a time when many South African’s livelihoods are on the line, such indecision and confusion is devastating for businesses who have done everything necessary to put in place health and safety measures and have already begun to open.
This latest flip flop 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”.
Clarity by national government, be it the national Minister of Tourism, or the national Minister of Cooperative Governance and Cooperative Affairs is now imperative.
I, as well as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), firmly believe that tourism for leisure within provinces is already permitted under Alert Level 3 and should stay that way. These businesses can safely open to receive business travelers and similarly can safely open to receive people travelling for leisure purposes.
To reverse the decision now could be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses in the tourism sector.
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