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Massive job losses looming if tourism sector doesn’t open by September–Ministry

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said if businesses do not open before September, over 500,000 people could lose their jobs.

As things stand, the industry is unlikely to see any kind of a return to normality before the nation is under level 1 lockdown restrictions. Picture:  123rf

CAPE TOWN – The Tourism Ministry is hard at work to convince the National Coronavirus Command Council to allow some of the sector's businesses to reopen.

As things stand, the industry is unlikely to see any kind of a return to normality before the nation is under level 1 lockdown restrictions.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said if businesses do not open before September, over 500,000 people could lose their jobs.

“Our concern is to say let us see what we can do to get the sector back on track. We are working very hard around the clock to improve the protocols and the safety to assure everybody that is working, including the department of health, that as a sector we will be responsible.”

The minister held a virtual meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa and various stakeholders in the tourism industry on Friday and some concerns were raised.

“The issue of transport; we have a transport system that is a bit of a challenge. If all sectors go back to full operation it means the trains, taxis, and buses will go back to being packed.”