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VIDEO: Tourism Minister’s media briefing on Level 3 lockdown rules
26 June 2020, 5:00 PM

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has held a virtual media briefing to give details on the regulations regarding the sector, under alert Level 3 of the national lockdown.

Watch the minister’s briefing below:

 

VIDEO: Ministers in the Economics Cluster answer questions in Parliament
23 June 2020, 3:02 PM

Ministers in the Economics Cluster are answering questions in Parliament relating to the economic cluster, such as Public Enterprises, Tourism and Trade and Industry.

See video link below:

VIDEO: Minister of Agriculture briefs media on outcomes of the Agricultural Disaster Fund application process
17 May 2020, 12:00 PM

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza briefs the media on the outcome of the Agricultural Disaster Fund application process.

Impoverished Burundi, battered by violence and coronavirus, gears up for elections
16 May 2020, 2:34 PM

Burundi will have its first competitive presidential election since the civil war erupted in 1993, but simmering political violence and fears that campaign rallies could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus have already marred the campaign.

President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping down, although he intends to remain a prominent force in the impoverished East African nation.

He nominated Evariste Ndayishimiye, a retired army general, as his successor for the ruling CNDD-FDD party. The party is to hold its last rally on Saturday. The election will be held on Wednesday.

Six other candidates are running, including opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, deputy chairman of the national assembly and leader of the CNL party.

Rwasa has been able to open offices and hold large rallies around the country, said Nelleke van de Walle of the research organisation International Crisis Group.

“The ruling party and the government is trying to show that this is a legitimate process,” she said.

But, Burundi said most election observers would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Journalists face the constant threat of arrest or attack; many have fled. Some civil society organisations have been closed.

Last year, the government shut down the United Nations human rights office after repeated criticism that the youth wing of the ruling party and the security services were torturing, gang-raping and murdering political opponents. Rights groups say those attacks have increased in the run-up to Wednesday’s presidential, legislative and municipal elections.

Both Ndayishimiye and Rwasa were senior commanders in predominantly Hutu militias during the country’s decade-long civil war that killed around 300 000 people. Nkurunziza came to power in 2005 as part of a peace deal.

The country was plunged into violence again in 2015 after Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, a move his opponents said violated the constitution and terms of the 2005 deal.

Nearly half a million people fled and the economy never recovered. The violent protests eventually subsided but low-level political violence continues.

Voters who spoke to Reuters were too fearful to give their names. A 45-year-old vegetable seller in the capital, Bujumbura, supported the ruling party because it had provided welfare.

“They give us rice and beans and can build houses for the most vulnerable among us like elders or widows,” she said.

But a jobless 32-year-old supported the opposition.

“All of us need change, many Burundians need … one to end this daily violence, these killings, this rampant corruption and economic embezzlement,” he said.

Nkurunziza will remain president until August, and a new constitution has given him sweeping powers to declare a state of emergency if the results are disputed.

This week his government expelled the country representative for the World Health Organisation despite mounting fears that Burundi’s election rallies could help spread of the new coronavirus.

The nation of 11 million has reported 27 cases so far but has only carried out about 520 tests in total.

 

Afriforum lashes out at Tourism department’s ‘gross misunderstanding’ of court decision
16 May 2020, 2:28 PM

Lobby group Afriforum has lashed out at the Tourism Department over what it says is a gross misunderstanding of Friday’s Constitutional Court judgement.

Afriforum approached the Constitutional Court, after the High Court dismissed its application against Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

This related to her decision to provide support to distressed firms and establishments in the tourism sector based on broad-based BEE codes. The Minister released a statement welcoming the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of the lobby group’s application saying the court had rendered the joint application insufficient and that it was not in the interest of justice for the court to consider it.

However, Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel says it was not a joint application and that the application from Solidarity was not dismissed, but that it should go through a different process through the courts.

“Afriforum regards it as unfortunate that the Minister of Tourism blatantly lied when she said that Afriforum’s case at the Constitutional Court has been dismissed. It is not correct the Solidarity case that she refers to does not mention Afriforum in any way. The fact is this judgement in the Solidarity case only says that the court will not hear the case now it should go through a different process – and it did not take into account the merit at all.”

In the statement below, the Department of Tourism hails the courts decision as a victory.

Minister concerned about job losses

Kubayi-Ngubane has expressed concern over job losses in the sector due to fears of further spread of the coronavirus.

She says jobs are being lost in the tourism sector, as major events continue to be cancelled to help stem the spread of the virus.

“We can’t say generally there aren’t going to be job losses, there are job losses as we speak. Those who support the tourism sector, either temporarily or on a contract basis, are already starting to feel it because they are going to sit at home and there are no major events that are happening.”

“Those who are going to be part of the La Liga football summit in Durban next week, are affected because they were supposed to be working next week, and they are not working. So such things are going to happen. The issue for us is to be able to evaluate how much impact and our response to it, so we can limit the effects to ordinary South Africans,” Kubayi-Ngubane adds.

In the video below, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane speaks to Morning Live in Limpopo:

 

 

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