If no action is taken forthwith, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will have to live with the fact that she — almost single-handedly — destroyed SA’s tourism industry.
Contributing close to 9% of GDP and 1.5-million direct and indirect jobs, one would assume this industry is sufficiently valuable to the government to allocate a minister who knows at least a little about business, even if she knows nothing about tourism. Yet four months into Covid-19 every day presents a new opportunity for Kubayi-Ngubane to show that she has no understanding whatsoever of how businesses function, let alone how the tourism value chain works.
To add to this, she clearly does not care an iota about the devastation she is causing and the livelihoods she is destroying. She can’t claim ignorance — she has been told on many occasions, by industry experts. And she was presented with detailed plans and meticulous protocols that would enable the safe and phased reopening of domestic and international travel. It boggles the mind that she is still allowed to continue the carnage, embarrassing not only herself but also the government she represents.
Or is there an ulterior motive? Conspiracy theorists are having a field day. It is high time Kubayi-Ngubane was replaced with somebody who understands tourism and cares about the 1.5-million who could potentially be unemployed. Swift action could still save many businesses and jobs.
Angela Matthews,Via e-mail
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