Prolonged lockdown restriction leaves many without stable income

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Deputy Minister of Tourism Fish Mahlalela says they are disappointed that the Astrazeneca vaccine does not currently have the efficacy to prevent mild and moderate cases of the 501Y.V2 variant which was first reported in South Africa in December.

Mahlalela, who was visiting tourism establishments in the North West, says the availability of a vaccine will assist the tourism sector to recover.

The Bojanala district, which includes the towns of Rustenburg and Hartebeespoort, is one of the countries coronavirus hotspots. It is also a popular tourism destination.

It is this sector that is now bearing the brunt of prolonged lockdown regulations. Many who were employed in the sector are without jobs while establishments struggle to keep their doors open.

The industry has been brought to its knees by prolonged lockdown restrictions, leaving many without a stable income.

Flee market owners and a guest facility owner say they are struggling to make ends meet, “everyone is complaining, even our families where we come from.” Others say they’re complaining because of this disease, “we are struggling, we don’t know what we gonna do. Typically, you’d be running at full house from Thursday to Sundays, but now we’re running at 50%.”

However, the North West MEC for Tourism Keneilwe Mosenogi, says tourism numbers have picked up recently.

“With the adjusted levels as they’re introduced depending on state of affairs of the infection rates in the country. We have seen improvements in the number of arrivals in the province and if you interact with a number of establishment owners they will also indicate that there is some significant progress also from revenue. People are now coming back to work, those that might have not been laid off completely but just for temporarily now they’re coming back and which is something positive and that we must celebrate.”

The halt of the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine which arrived in the country last week comes as a disappointment, as the availability of a vaccine is of paramount importance to many sectors including tourism.

Deputy Minister on Tourism Fish Mahlasela says they remain hopeful. “We were disappointed, but a good thing is that there is an alternative, that is Johnson and Johnson, according to the commitment that the minister of health has made to the public. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered and the process of rollout will then begin as the phase has been agreed upon. Which means, once we rollout the vaccination that’s when we’ll be certain that we go back and mobilize the international community.”

The department says they are awaiting approval of their recovery plan from parliament.

In the video below, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane speaks about the launch of the Tourism Equity Fund:

-Reporting by Tebogo Phakedi


BREAKING NEWS: Govender brothers sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for attempted murder, 3 years for grievous bodily harm and 12 months for assault common. For more visit http://sabcnews.com