TBCSA appeals for further easing of lockdown for struggling hospitality sector

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The TBCSA said since the national lockdown was implemented in March, the industry had lost R68 billion.

JOHANNESBURG – The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) on Tuesday said that government needed to reopen most of the hospitality industry in order to save the sector from collapse.

The TBCSA said that since the national lockdown was implemented in March, the industry had lost R68 billion. It said that over 250,000 employees had applied for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the number was expected to double in June.

The council presented a report to government showing that a number of jobs would be permanently lost if the sector did not reopen soon.

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The TBCSA said that the easing of regulations to level 3 of the lockdown earlier this month, which included the reopening of accommodation, restaurants, and limited domestic travel, would help revive the sector.

TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said that they had also developed a post-COVID-19 plan aimed at reigniting the sector.

“The very survival of this industry and the jobs it creates rests in the adjustment of these regulations. Every day that the industry remains retrained is a R748 million loss of tourism expenditure and the further permanent loss of much-needed jobs,” Tshivhengwa said.

The Department of Tourism indicated that 30% of the country’s restaurants had already closed permanently, with the hotel industry expected to lose over 500,000 jobs.

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