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The long delays in the second issuance of TERS funds for the tourism industry were caused by the fraud that occurred during the first round of UIF TERS. The UIF sought to seal the process, which made it a much longer process, according to the CEO of TBCSA, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwawho was speaking during a webinar presented by Cape Town Tourism, the first in a series called “In conversation with…”.

Tshivhengwa said the TERS had only been secured for the past two weeks at this stage, but he was sure it would be extended for the next two weeks in line with the extended lockdown. “The government may have to inject some money,” he said. There was to be an extension meeting on Tuesday evening July 13 to discuss the extension of the TERS.

The continued need for TERS within the tourism industry is well documented, as many factors prevent the entire sector from fully resuming operations. Tshivhengwa pointed out that even though some in government like to act like it was the government helping the workers through the TERS, the UIF money actually belonged to the employees, not the government, so when the TERS was granted, it was in no way government aid is distributed.

And on the issue of government aid, Tshivhengwa believes that aid is what is needed to restore the health of the sector and its supply chain in the future. “Loans will not support our businesses. We will suffocate. We need grants rather than loans. The last thing we want is to put more and more operators in the sector into debt. Grant funding needs a boost – we would like R2-3 billion to be made available for grants in the tourism sector,” he said.

Tourism was not an industry in which you could flip a switch to the “on” position. It took a long preparation before it started generating income, Tshivhengwa said. And often there is a disconnect between different departments with different goals. “The Minister of Tourism does not control the Ministries of Transport, Interior etc. Tourism operates in a matrix where the majority of the landscape is not under the control of the Minister of Tourism,” he said .

Meanwhile, Tshivhengwa continues his work in the Global Advocacy Campaign, a holistic campaign with SA Tourism, to reposition and defend Brand South Africa. It includes a paid public relations campaign and a campaign among South African diplomats abroad and among foreign diplomats in South Africa asking them to promote travel to South Africa. “Now we have a double whammy,” Tshivhengwa said, referring to incidents of civil unrest and destruction of property and looting in KZN and Gauteng on July 12 and 13. inspire confidence in travellers.