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South Africa is failed by its tourism leadership 16 Apr 2020 06:28 #1

The Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) is supposed to represent the tourism industry in dealings with government. It's website shows nothing about the coronavirus pandemic and the last press release issued was in 2019. The TBCSA's board and management should be fired.

The national Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, is clueless. On 9 March 2020, her response to the disaster was: “Simply put, ladies and gentlemen, we do not have the resources to offset the damage that our economy will suffer because of this crisis. The question is what is it that we need to do, together, in the short to medium term to minimise the impact of the virus on the tourism sector? Given the uncertainty around the evolution of the spread of this virus, we cannot at this moment provide definitive answers.”

On 7 April 2020, she announced the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund to provide once-off capped grant assistance to Small, Micro and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa. Preference will be given to enterprises with the highest score in terms of the Tourism Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practices. The Tourism Relief Fund is administered in line with the objectives of Economic Transformation.

BUSINESS DAY, 16 April 2020
EDITORIAL: Kubayi-Ngubane’s hapless tourism gaffe
It is lamentable that tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane insists that BEE credentials, rather than financial need, will be the criterion for state support

"We are in a situation that demands swift action and exceptional methods … An essential part of our response to this emergency is the principle of solidarity," said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening, as he acknowledged the scars that an extension of the lockdown will leave on SA.

Ramaphosa’s address was a rallying call to unity, and in that context it is lamentable that tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane insists that BEE credentials, rather than financial need, will be the criterion for state support.

For one thing, many companies that may not have black equity partners almost certainly employ black staff. Cutting their access to funding based on a scorecard that measures something else entirely undermines Ramaphosa’s call for South Africans to pull together.

Indeed, there was no suggestion of preference in the president’s words — the government had pledged "a comprehensive package of economic support measures to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic".

South Africans of all races need to know the state has their back; it is fundamental to whether our lockdown will succeed or fail. All players must pull together, especially now — and if Kubayi-Ngubane doesn’t get that, she shouldn’t be in the government.

The minister has been taken to court and Business Day concludes that report by sayng, "Hopefully, the high court will rule against the minister’s ill-judged scheme, which tarnishes what has been the widely acclaimed response by the government to the pandemic."

In his first State of the Nation speech as the new president, Ramaphosa set the target of doubling tourism reciepts. Under her tenure as minister, Kubayi-Ngubane saw tourism numbers drop by about 30% in 2019. She is a failure! The Minister must go, Mr President.

The tourism minister doesn't understand tourism. It's typical ANC cadre deployment. She will do to tourism what the ANC did to South African Airways. Tourism is a business, a perishable business. It has no place for ideology.

And her R200 million Relief Fund is the ultimate slap in the face to the R130 billion tourism industry, especially when SA Tourism is getting R3.8 billion...

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South Africa is failed by its tourism leadership 13 May 2020 17:54 #2

  • jamb@iafrica.com's Avatar
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I couldn't agree more ! The Tourism minister doesn't have a clue about tourism and as for the funding fiasco ! We are an Award Winning Guest House and have been established for 25 years. Without funding we will go under in the next month. Being technically challenged I spent days to completing the myriad forms online and sending the required documents by e-mail. Since then there has been ZERO feedback from anyone, any where !

Barry Thomas
Jambo Guest House
Green Point

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