Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

The impact on SA tourism thus far

CAPE TOWN- South African tourism has been one of the worst-hit industries in the country and according to the department, the sector has sustained one of the largest budget cuts of R1 billion. 

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the department’s previous budget of R2.4 billion has been cut to R1.4 billion for 2020/2021.

Kubayi-Ngubane revealed these figures during a live tourism budget vote on Wednesday.

The latest numbers on tourism losses

  • The loss of tourism expenditure stands at around R748 million
  • The estimated loss of jobs is 600,000
  • There has been a 75 percent revenue reduction in 2020 in the sector
  • R54.2 billion in outputs may have been lost between mid-March and the end of May this year
  • R80.2 bn rand in foreign receipts are at risk 

Tourism relief

Kubayi-Ngubane says the department is finalising the country’s tourism recovery plan with a view of submitting it to Cabinet next month.

The department has reprioritized the budget for the tourist guide relief fund worth R30 million to provide financial relief for freelance tourist guides over a period of two to three months.

The sector has also benefited from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) established to provide financial relief through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

The UIF introduced Ters on March 26 as part of South Africa’s R500bn economic and social relief package to help those affected by the lockdown.

“For our part, we redirected R200 million which assisted 4 000 businesses through the Tourism Relief Fund. We ensured that the benefit is spread geographically across the country to cover even businesses in small dorpies and townships as per the discussions in the portfolio committee,” she said.

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