President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa will on Friday morning hold emergency talks with tourism stakeholders amid COVID-19 economic paralysis.
The stakeholders in the tourism industry sought an opportunity to engage the President on how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
Although South Africa has begun easing lockdown measures, the COVID-19 pandemic has already dealt a huge blow to the tourism industry in the country. And with billions of people still grounded amid fears of the deadly bug, the tourism industry may continue to suffer and sack workers for many months.
The meeting will hold virtually to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“In mitigation of the impact of the pandemic on tourism, which is the largest source of employment in the country, the Department of Tourism has instituted a Tourism Relief Fund to assist small, micro and medium-sized enterprises affected by lockdown restrictions on the movement of people and the closure of the country’s borders,” the presidency in South Africa said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.
The R200m Tourism Relief Fund will be disbursed as once-off R50 000 grants per entity to ensure that businesses survive as the country prepares to reopen more economic activity alongside the primary objective of saving lives in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s meeting follows the President’s consultations in recent days with the National Economic Development and Labour Council, leaders of South Africa’s interfaith communities and leaders of political parties represented in Parliament.
“These consultations enable government to share its plans and outlook with stakeholders who are given the opportunity to table concerns and proposals that enable effective partnerships between government and the social partners in the effort to protect lives and livelihoods alike,” the presidency added.