WESTERN CAPE NEWS - “To reverse the decision now could be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses in the tourism sector,” says Minister for Tourism and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier.
This statement regarding the situation of leisure travel under Level 3 regulations comes after the presidency apparently reversed its decision on allowing accommodation for leisure purposes within the province.
Earlier today Maynier’s office welcomed the presidency’s confirmation on Twitter last night that accommodation for leisure is open for travel within provinces under Alert Level 3.
Mere hours later, he released another statement after the presidency apparently changed its mind.
Maynier says last night’s tweet confirmed what President Cyril Ramaphosa originally announced and indeed what legal interpretation of the current regulations permit. “However, this morning the presidency flip-flopped by deleting the tweet and then a few hours later retweeting a new graphic with accommodation for leisure removed. “
He says such vacillating by the presidency is completely unacceptable. At a time when many South African’s livelihoods are on the line, this indecision and confusion is devastating for businesses that have done everything necessary to put in place health and safety measures and have already reopened.
This latest reversal 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.
Maynier says he, 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 travellers and similarly can safely open to receive people travelling for leisure purposes.”
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