National tourism department's budget cut by R1bn as Covid-19 bites

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The department of tourism's budget allocation for the 2020/21 year has been drastically cut amid the suspension of activities in the industry as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said before the Covid-19 crisis, the budget allocation was R2.48bn, of which R1.3bn was for transfers and subsidies.

UNCTAD predicts that tourism in SA is going to lose 3% in GDP contribution, and the loss of unskilled jobs in the sector could be as high as 12% if the virus is contained in the next eight months. Kubayi-Ngubane said the government has intervened to support businesses in distress through the Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme, worth R200bn, and this is still accessible to many businesses, including those in the tourism sector.

“For our part, we redirected R200m which assisted 4,000 businesses through the Tourism Relief Fund. We ensured the benefit is spread geographically across the country to even cover businesses in small dorpies and townships, as per discussions in the portfolio committee,” she said.

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)

 

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