TBCSA Board Chairperson, Blacky Komani (left) and TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa (right).

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has announced a public and private partnership to effectively manage technical issues that may arise in the tourism sector post-COVID-19.

TBCSA Board Chairperson, Blacky Komani, said in a webinar on Monday (July 20) that the organisation had agreed on this with the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

“The Executive Steering Committee will comprise 50% each of  public- and private-sector stakeholders and will deal with all technical issues relating to  domestic and outbound tourism, inbound and aviation, protocols, financial relief and legacy issues,” explained Komani.

“The technical team will likely exist for two to three years and for the first time, when issues go to the National Coronavirus Command Council, there will be direct input from the sector with this team.”

Furthermore, acknowledging the current challenges faced by the sector, the TBCSA has scheduled engagements with Kubayi-Ngubane as well with the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, to discuss further financial relief for the tourism sector.

The TBCSA has highlighted that for every day that the industry remains restrained (with current lockdown regulations) is a R748m (€39m) loss of tourism expenditure and the further permanent loss of much-needed jobs.

The estimated loss of jobs currently stands at 600 000 direct jobs, if the sector remains closed, with knock-on effects in other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and banking.

“One thing that is clear is the industry needs to stick together, especially because we all have the same goal, which is to see our businesses going back to work and to put food on the tables of our communities,” said Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of TBCSA.

“Our role is to influence policy and we will continue to do this until we come out of this together.”

Recently, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour, Boitumelo Moloi, announced that the COVID-19 Temporary Employers/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) would be extended to August. The TBCSA and Department of Labour had an agreement of three months.

Click on the link to view the entire webinar.