Lifting of international travel ban to act as economic driver, says ANC caucus
Cape Town – The ANC caucus in Parliament has supported the lifting of the ban on international travel, saying this will boost the tourism industry.
The sector has been left battered after the outbreak of Covid-19 which led to countries to close their borders.
But President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that international travel will now be allowed for business, leisure and other activities.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said in a statement on Thursday this decision will boost the tourism sector.
"Caucus further supports the reopening of the borders to allow international travel. This decision will have a great impact on the tourism sector as the industry is one of the economic drivers.
’’We commend the measures put in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and urge all travellers to adhere to the regulations set by government," said Majodina.
The tourism industry is one of the major contributors to the country's gross domestic product, with billions flowing into the economy every year.
But the figures released by Statistics South Africa of a 51% decline in the second quarter of the year showed the impact the coronavirus had on the economy after businesses were shut down for several months.
Majodina also said they also support the extension of the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) as it would help many workers in trouble.
The Department of Employment and Labour has spent more than R42 billion on the Unemployment Insurance Fund to ease the pressure on the affected workers.
"We also commend the extension of the UIF TERS fund to support workers and companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
’’This intervention by government brings much needed relief to the citizens of our country. We also condemn those employers who have withheld the relief funds from their employees, this is an inhumane act, especially during a pandemic and we urge the Labour Department to intervene," said Majodina.
She further said they back any efforts to fight the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV).
President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed more than R1.6 billion to fight GBV and the government has identified dozens of hotspots of GBV during the lockdown.
Ramaphosa said they would put in more resources in these areas to intensify the fight against GBV.
Majodina said they will continue to support measures to tackle the violence against women and children.
"As the ANC caucus, we note and support the progress made by government in its efforts to fight the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.
’’The identification of the 30 hot spots where gender-based violence is rife is a critical step in speedily identifying, investigating and prosecuting GBV cases," said Majodina.