The real reason why South Africa has not opened its international borders
Since President Cyril Rampaphosa has permitted inter-provincial travel under level 2 lockdown, many South Africans have called for the reopening of international borders to allow for the recovery of the tourism sector.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane detailed why government is yet to open international borders at a panel discussion on the road ahead for the South African tourism sector at the Time Square Sun Studios in Pretoria on Friday morning.
She said: “Our next step is to work towards the reopening of international travel. We have started to analyse our key global markets and understand more about international travellers who visit the country.
“If we do open our borders, we are unsure whether international travellers will visit."
Kubayi-Ngubane emphasised that some destinations may implement a mandatory quarantine period, which could make travellers to South Africa cut their trip short if the borders reopened.
She said that once South Africa moves away from being among the top 10 high-risk destinations for Covid-19, it’s easier for her to communicate with other countries to promote South Africa as a country to visit.
Kubayi-Ngubane also shared that some businesses were not adhering to the Covid-19 protocols, and as a result, videos showing their non-compliance has gone viral.
“All sub-sectors need to comply with the Covid-19 protocols. Having these videos out there not only makes it difficult for me as a tourism minister to call for international travel but also paints South Africa as an unsafe destination to the international market,” she said.