Tourism Minister announces R1bn budget cut, 440,000 jobs on the line

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has told Parliament the sector faces a 75% reduction in revenue for this year with nearly 440,000 jobs at risk.

FILE: Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said her department’s plan for the tourism sector’s recovery would be ready to go before Cabinet next month August.

Kubayi-Ngubane has told Parliament the sector faces a 75% reduction in revenue for this year with nearly 440,000 jobs at risk.

She was introducing debate on her department’s adjusted budget, which has been reduced by R1 billion to R1.4 billion.

Despite her budget being cut by around 40%, Kubayi-Ngubane said five-year targets would still be met and funds allocated would be used to build a strong basis for the recovery of the hard-hit sector.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, tourism was contributing about R270 billion a year to South Africa’s economy and employed nearly 750,000 people.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the sector was resilient.

“We are confident that the sector will recover, and we’ll be able to meet our five-year targets. We are going to use the money we have been allocated to work towards building a firm foundation for a rapid and inclusive recovery of the tourism sector.”

But members of the opposition DA, EFF and Freedom Front Plus were not convinced.

The EFF’s Pebane Moteka warned that the revised budget would make it more difficult for the sector to transform.

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