Independent tour guides now included in tourism relief fund
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Pretoria - Tour guides are to be included in the coronavirus (Covid-19) financial relief scheme, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Saturday.
"Following my meeting with tour guides in which they expressed their plight and how the various governmental relief initiatives have neglected them, I went back to the department and had a discussion about what can be done to assist this sub-sector," she said in a statement on her department's directives under the Covid-19 level 3 regulations, which come into effect on June 1.
"As you are aware, the tour guiding sub-sector is dominated by freelancers and independent contractors with no job security, and for this reason the government relief schemes, including the tourism relief fund, did not cover them.
"In response, the department has come up with an additional financial relief mechanism for tourist guides. We have set aside a total of R30-million which will provide financial relief over a period of two to three months," she said.
The beneficiaries of this scheme would include tour guides registered with the registrar in terms of the Tourism Act, and tour guides not employed by any company and those that had not formed their own companies, which meant they were freelancers or independent contractors without job security.
As they also prepared themselves for the sector reopening under levels 2 and 1, they too would be required to adhere to the necessary protocol for containment of the virus.
"In this regard, we shall also be making further provisions to ensure that they also receive personal protective equipment (PPE). We trust that this support will go some way in providing relief to the tourist guides," Kubayi-Ngubane said.
African News Agency (ANA), editing by Jacques Keet