An amount of R30 million (€1.5 million) has been earmarked to provide relief and support for tourist guides who have been negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic – which has effectively bringing South Africa’s tourism industry to  a standstill.

This was announced by Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, at a media briefing on Saturday (May 30) where she noted that the relief fund would be targeted at tourist guides who are registered with the National Registrar of Tourist Guides (in terms of the Tourism Act).

Tourist guides who are not employed by any company and are freelancers or independent contractors are also eligible for this relief fund.

“As they also prepare themselves for the sector reopening, they too would need to adhere to the necessary protocol for containment of the spread of the virus,” the Minister elaborated.

“In this regard, we shall also be making further provisions to ensure that they receive personal protective equipment (PPE). We trust that this support, will go some way in providing relief to the tourist guides.”

At the beginning of the nationwide lockdown to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Tourism announced a COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund of R200 million (€10 million).

Kubayi-Ngubane explained that, to date, more than 6 000 completed applications for grant assistance have been received from across the country.

“A large bulk of the applications were from businesses that provide accommodation services (2 495), followed by hospitality at (1 825), travel related services (1 780) and “other” at (662),” she explained.