The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says it is exploring its legal options against government, to force it to open the entire sector.

The council says it is the most affected by the lockdown regulations.

Parts of the sector are operating but the council says this is not enough to get people back to work.

At a briefing on Monday, the council’s CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said they had exhausted all avenues of engagements with government.

“We want to see our employees going back to work, we want to see our companies going back to work. Recovery starts when that one employee goes back to work.”

“Unfortunately, in the last regulation that was gazetted, the matter for domestic leisure was taken out. There are many things that don’t make sense, no one can explain it. There is no point in going to court. We are not going to win we will weaken ourselves further. We have to make sure we have the best legal minds to deal with the issues and tell us what the best outcome will be if we go to court,” adds Tshivhengwa.

Council Chairperson Blacky Komani, says they are now looking at a legal strategy to find a solution. He says they have exhausted all engagements with the government.

Komani says they have pleaded for the opening up of inbound and domestic leisure tourism markets.

“We designed world-class protocols. We met with the economic cluster and tourism was only going to operate at Level 2 and 1 and our plea to the President was that we don’t have that time. People are losing jobs; companies are closing. At the end of the day, these are difficult choices we have.”

In April, Minister of Tourism Mmamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced a COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund of R200 million.

In the video below, the Minister briefs media about the opening of the sector: