Clarity needed on tourism regulations - Manny de Freitas

DA MP says he has spent past week trying to make sense of them, with little success

DA calls for clarity on Tourism regulations

The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, needs to decipher the hieroglyphics of the confusing “Alert Advanced Level 3” tourism regulations that she announced last week. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has spent the last week trying to make sense of these regulations without much success.

At the media conference that the Minister hosted last week she stated that leisure accommodation will not be permitted. This contradicts the regulations which state that licensed and accredited accommodation establishments are allowed to operate for intra-provincial travel (that is, within a province) for business as well as leisure purposes.

The regulations are also unclear with regards to conference facilities as, although conferences may take place, it does not explicitly say that conference accommodation may be used for leisure purposes as well. The DA has been inundated with queries from businesses seeking clarity about these badly written regulations.

Until there is clarity from government, businesses may have no choice but to adopt the position taken by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), which represents the widest scope of businesses within the tourism, travel and accommodation sectors. The TBCSA has interpreted the regulations as permitting accredited and licensed accommodation to operate for intra-provincial domestic leisure and business travel.

The DA will be writing to the Minister of Tourism requesting that she clarifies the regulations. This is yet another unnecessary burden for enterprises in the accommodation and hospitality sectors where many have had to close their businesses and have left thousands unemployed because of government’s unhelpful and confusing handling of the lockdown. We need to have a balance between saving lives while also ensuring that livelihoods are not lost.

Statement issued by Manny De Freitas MP - DA Shadow Minister of Tourism, 5 July 2020