The South African Department of Tourism has announced the roll-out of a relief fund specifically to assist tourist guides who have been impacted by the countrywide Disaster Management Measures aimed at mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic.
This follows an announcement earlier this month by Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane of a R30 million (€1.5m) fund that will provide monthly financial relief of R1 500 (€79) for eligible guides for a period of three (3) months.
According to Kubayi-Ngubane, the relief fund will be applicable to registered freelance tourist guides who operate independently (without any formal employment), without formal businesses in place.
“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on tourism, and many Tourist Guides have been left destitute without any form of income,”
“We have put aside R30 million to financially assist tourist guides over the next three (3) months as the country slowly begins to ease Disaster Management regulations, and re- open some sectors of our economy,” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.
Africa Tembelea understands that this Relief Fund for Tourist Guides will be administered through a ‘no application process.’ Information on Guides will be sourced from the databases maintained by the Provincial Registrars of Tourist Guides in all nine (9) provinces, and verified with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the necessary verifications and validate information where necessary.
Registered tourist guides, who have valid identification according to DHA and who are not registered with UIF nor claimed any financial support through the Tourism Relief Fund, will receive financial relief from the Department.
The Minister said that provincial registrars will ensure that all the relevant information on their respective databases are correct, particularly the contact details of all their tourist guides.
“We encourage all Tourist guides to provide their updated contact information to their respective Provincial Registrars. This is crucial, as cardless payments will be made in order to expedite the payment process,” Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said, however, the Minister was quick to add that the relief fund may not be much, but believes it will go a long way in covering some of the Tourist Guide’s immediate needs.