South Africa’s Ministry of Tourism has issued a statement today following the President’s announced national lockdown and inter-ministerial briefing earlier.

Highlights of the statement include:

  • We urge all tourism stakeholders particularly accommodation owners to cooperate and make sure no one leaves unless they have a ticket booked and are catching the next flight home.
  • We appeal to tour operators and tourist guides to act responsibly so that the country can avoid risky situations wherein a person or persons are tested positive but still do tours in the country.
  • As per the government instructions, all tourist attractions must be closed so that we not only protect South African citizens but tourists themselves.
  • Tourists who are staying must be placed under quarantine effective immediately. Tourists leaving the country will be subjected to mandatory testing at the following airports ahead of boarding a flight: OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Gauteng; Cape Town International Airport, Western Cape and King Shaka International, Durban, KwaZulu Natal.
  • Tourists should plan for an additional hour before boarding to allow for exit testing.

    Tourism Relief Funding

  • An additional R200 million available to assist SMMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.
  • The fund will be administered to benefit SMMEs in all the 9 provinces and various tourism sub-sectors. Necessarily and rightly there will be a degree of bias towards rural areas, townships, women, young people and people with disabilities. In line with our Amended Codes on BBB-EE, the following categories will apply:

*Accommodation: Hotels; Resort properties and Bed and Breakfast (B&B’s)

  • Hospitality and Related Services: Restaurants (not attached to hotels); Conference (not attached to hotels), *Professional catering; Attractions
  • Travel and Related Services: Tour operators; Travel agents; Tourist guides; Car rental companies; and Coach Operators.

    Application Qualifying Criteria

  • Must be a formally registered business with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Turnover must not exceed R2.5 million per year.
  • Must have a valid tax clearance certificate.
  • Guaranteed employment for a minimum number of staff for a period of 3 months.
  • Proof of minimum wage compliance.
  • Must provide proof of UIF registration for employees employed by the business.
  • Be an existing tourism-specific establishment as outline in the scope of application (suppliers and intermediaries are not eligible).
  • Must be in existence for at least one business financial year.
  • Prove that the relief is required as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
  • Must submit statements of financial position; over 12 months’ bank statement, balance sheet, income statements, cash flow statements.
  • Indicate the intended use of the resources.

Delivery Mechanisms

  • The relief will be distributed in a spatially equitable manner to ensure that all provinces benefit.
  • At least 70% of beneficiaries will be businesses that are Black-owned.
  • At least 50% of beneficiaries will be businesses that are women-owned.
  • At least 30% of beneficiaries will be businesses that are youth owned.
  • At least 4% of beneficiaries will be businesses that are owned by people with disabilities.

Read the full statement here.

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