Photo: Pexels

Presidency ‘flip-flopping’ on leisure accommodation rules

The Western Cape’s Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier was the first to point out the so-called blunder on Twitter


Photo: Pexels

In what could have brought some relief to the tourism sector, the Presidency’s Twitter account appeared to announce that intra-provincial accommodation for leisure purposes could be allowed under level 3 of the nation-wide lockdown.

However, the tweet, which was accompanied by a diagram showing the activities allowed, was later deleted, but not quickly enough. The presidency later retweeted a new graphic with the information on accommodation for leisure removed.

The Western Cape’s Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier was the first to point out the so-called blunder on the popular app.

“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”, Maynier said in a statement.

‘Clarity from government’

The MEC further said clarity by national government, whether it was from the minister of co-operative governance Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, was 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”

Delays in reopening tourism sector

While part of the tourism industry remains closed, as a result of the lockdown, the Democratic Alliance, which has been one of government’s biggest critics over its handling the pandemic, has questioned the need for the sector to remain only partially active.

The DA submitted questions to Kubayi-Ngubane during a meeting with of Parliament’s portfolio committee on tourism.

“Although the Minister indicated that she was aware of the job losses en masse within the sector, her mind-boggling reply to another DA question was that employees, upon becoming employed, must enquire from their employees”, the party said at the time.

“Again, the Minister demonstrates that she is herself a tourist of her portfolio. She simply does not understand the sector or even business in general and is now resorting to making up “facts” to justify her incompetence as hundreds of thousands of South Africans continue to lose their jobs”