Tourism sector explores legal options after govt gazettes redrafted travel rules
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says it's seeking legal advice on how the sector can defend itself following the leisure travel reversal.
In the latest gazette published by Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Sunday, the government has rephrased its travel regulations making it clear that overnight leisure stays are not allowed.
In mid-June, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that "accredited and licensed" accommodation would be reopened, with the exception of home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb.
Level 3 regulations published late in June suggested that intra-provincial leisure travel was permitted.
While the TBCSA interpreted the regulations to mean that leisure travel was reopened, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane insisted that it wasn't.
To make matters more confusing, the Presidency posted infographics on social media on Friday stating that leisure travel is open.
The Presidency later retracted the posts and said they were made in error.
On Sunday, redrafted regulations were published by Dlamini-Zuma proving that TBCSA's interpretation of the initial regulations was clearly accurate.
TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says the council will be examining the reversal in travel regulations before deciding what legal steps to take.
It has to be examined thoroughly so that we can make an informed decision for relief that the industry will seek... We are going to exercise all the options that are available in front of us to make sure that we remedy the situation as we see it.Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
It makes no sense that leisure travel is not allowed, Tshivhengwa tells CapeTalk.
Both leisure and business travelers require the same service and safety protocols, he explains.
Tshivhengwa says the council wants clarity about the inconsistent industry regulations.
This certainly defies logic. You can get on a local taxi with 100% capacity but you can’t stay in a hotel alone or with your family. Where is logic and consistency here? Other industries are allowed to work with less protocols. We will meet there. Enough— Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa (@TTshivhengwa) July 12, 2020
As the Tourism Business Council, we are taking advice on this matter. There seem to be inconsistencies in terms of applying similar types of stringent regulation to other sectors... What makes us more dangerous than other sectors that are operational?Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
We are certainly exploring our options at the moment. We have to defend our sector. We have to defend our industry and seek clarification on these things.Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
From the gazette that was issued last night, the government closed that loop. It pretty much reversed and said that it's no longer allowed.Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
Over the weekend, the Presidency tweeted saying it's allowed, then retracted the tweet saying it's not allowed followed by the gazette that said it's not allowed and subsequently what the Minister of Cogta talked about today.Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
Listen to Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa in conversation with Mike Wills:
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