Parliament, Thursday, 23 June 2022 – The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, Mr Mandla Rayi has said that South Africans need to make full use of the changes in Covid-19 regulations and start exploring their country.

The Minister of Health repealed of regulations related to the surveillance and the control of notifiable medical conditions which effectively means that the country is open to all forms of economic activity including tourism.

“This is an exciting development especially that the committee met with the Department of Tourism on Tuesday regarding the discontinued and current tourism infrastructure projects. The tourism sector had, rightly so, been constrained for the past two years, when government had to contain what could have been a catastrophe,” said Mr Rayi.

He said tourism is central to rejuvenating an ailing economy whose growth is still below what it ought to have been. Mr Rayi said the committee hoped that tourism will be boasted and even reach the peak levels prior the outbreak of the pandemic.

He called on the department to do close monitoring and ensure that the current and supported tourism projects achieve what they are intended for.

On Tuesday, the department’s Director General, Mr Victor Tharage, told the committee that the department, struggled with projects that were incomplete, mismanaged, and too costly. He assured the committee that where mismanagement of funds had occurred, the civil route will be followed in recouping those funds.

Mr Rayi said there is no doubt that the department has the capacity to implement projects but that needs to be strengthened if the repeal is to have a meaningful impact on employment creation in the sector.

“We have an opportunity now to meaningfully exploit the change in regulations and thereby exploring the beauty of our country. We should collectively explore ways in which all forms of tourism could be maximised so that the sector could boom once more,” added Mr Rayi.

He called on all stakeholders including provinces, and municipalities to ensure that the discontinued but viable projects should be tested and revived if such opportunity becomes available.

“Tourism is the easiest sector that employs more people even if some are seasonal jobs. It is time to get to do the actual work,” Mr Rayi said.


For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairpersons, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Sibongile Maputi (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 052 6060