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South African Tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has said that while easing lockdown regulations in the sector was aimed at assisting businesses, it had to be done under strict conditions, and while reinforcing government’s health objectives towards defeating Covid-19. She made this known while presenting the Department’s revised budget in parliament on Thursday, July 9, as she highlighted how the Coronavirus pandemic and the national locdown have caused massive damage to the industry
The minister added that her department’s focus will be on supporting domestic tourism as the first point of recovery.
However, she caution cautioned that the recovery of the entire tourism industry would largely depend on how travel-ready authorities are in terms of managing and controlling coronavirus locally and globally.
“Tourism recovery will experience a number of phases, from hyper-local community attractions, through broader domestic tourism, regional land and air markets, and lastly resumption of world-wide international travel.
“The phases may not necessarily follow the same sequence but of certain is domestic tourism first.”
Tourism director-general, Victor Tharage, confirmed that the department lost close to R1 billion in its readjusted budget as announced by finance minister Tito Mboweni.
However, Tharage said that although there were difficult times ahead for the industry and those dependent on it, his department would still be able to meet all its amended targets in line with its adjusted budget.
At the end of June, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced that a number of air travel restrictions will be eased as part of the country’s move to ‘advanced’ level 3.
Mbalula said that this will include the reopening of a number of domestic air routes, as well as general relaxations around the industry.
The airports include:
- Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein);
- Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
- Pietermaritzburg Airport;
- Port Elizabeth International Airport;
- Richard’s Bay Airport;
- Skukuza International Airport.
OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, King Shaka International airport, and Lanseria have been open since the start of the June.
South Africans are currently only allowed to fly domestically for business purposes, with international travel only allowed for repatriation and medical evacuations.