Can UIF TERS help save struggling SA tourism sector?
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier said while the relaxation of restrictions provides a lifeline to many businesses, the payment of UIF Covid-19 TERS remained vital to save businesses.
"Last week, we published tourism industry performance data that unsurprisingly reflects a sector that has been hammered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the related lockdown restrictions. So, it is good news that the change in the curfew, the reopening of the beaches, parks, swimming pools and other public spaces, and the easing of the alcohol ban will certainly bring some relief to businesses in the Western Cape.
"These relaxations are exactly what we have been calling for. The fact that national government has made these changes sooner than February 15, 2021, is a welcome reprieve for businesses," he said.
Maynier said the industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and lockdown.
"The fact is that there are many businesses that are severely distressed and many jobs that remain at risk as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the markets that these businesses are dependent on, especially as the intensity of the second wave has resulted in stricter international travel restrictions and route cancellations by airlines.
"I have requested of the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to extend the UIF Covid-19 TERS scheme for the duration of the Alert Level 3 Restrictions to assist businesses and employees who continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We know that national government is running out of fiscal fire power, but this financial relief could be targeted to focus on the most seriously affected businesses, in the most seriously affected sectors like tourism and hospitality," he advised.