'Flip-flop by Presidency on accommodation for leisure issue is unacceptable'
Cape Town - The Presidency's "flip-flop" on the issue of intra-provincial accommodation for leisure purposes under the coronavirus (Covid-19) amended level 3 regulations is unacceptable, Western Cape finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier said on Saturday.
Here are the activities that are now allowed at Level 3. We picked up an error in the previous graphic which suggested that accommodation for leisure travel was permitted. This is not the case. See this statement for more information: https://t.co/hQnwYUNN6s #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/7t4Q7vxCKl— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 11, 2020
On Friday night, the Presidency confirmed on social media Twitter that accommodation for leisure was open for travel within provinces under Covid-19 alert level 3, Maynier said.
"This confirmed what President Cyril Ramaphosa originally announced and indeed what our legal interpretation of the current regulations permit. However, this morning [Saturday] the presidency flip-flopped by deleting the tweet and then a few hours later retweeting a new graphic with accommodation for leisure removed.
"Such flip-flopping by the presidency is completely unacceptable. At a time when many South African’s livelihoods are on the line such indecision and confusion is devastating for businesses who have done everything necessary to put in place health and safety measures and have already begun to open," he said.
This latest flip-flop followed weeks of confusion after Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane stated at a press conference that “accommodation for leisure is not yet allowed”.
Clarity by national government, be it the national minister of tourism or the national minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, was now imperative.
"I, as well as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), firmly believe that tourism for leisure within provinces is already permitted under alert level 3 and should stay that way.
"These businesses can safely open to receive business travellers and, similarly, can safely open to receive people travelling for leisure purposes. To reverse the decision now could be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses in the tourism sector," Maynier said.
African News Agency/ANA