A slow-drive protest has been organised in Cape Town for tomorrow (July 31) by the Private Charter Passenger Association (PCPA), which represents all tourism vehicles, including game-drive vehicles and charter coaches.
The PCPA has been lobbying for support from government in the charter transport industry where operators have lost significant income due to travel restrictions and the resultant lack of tourism. Most recently, the association created a petition for government to refund licence fees, which are paid six months in advance to tourism, charter and game-viewing vehicles.
The PCPA is calling on tourism vehicles in the Western Cape to join the protest in Cape Town to generate awareness of the challenges. “The beverage and guiding industries are behind us, but we want the rest of the operators, hotels, restaurants and lodges to join the drive,” said PCPA Chairperson, Fiona Brooke-Leggatt, emphasising that the drive aimed to represent the tourism industry as a whole.
“Operators have forgotten the hundreds of thousands they’ve spent on licence fees, for licences that have gone unused for the past four months,” said Brooke-Leggatt.
She said a refund on these pre-paid licences would make a significant financial difference to many, and not just those represented by the PCPA. “We are calling on any operators with a tourism, charter or game-viewing vehicle permit to sign this petition.”
The PCPA represents mostly smaller, private charter transport operators, but larger businesses have also been heavily impacted by the lack of tourism over the last four months.
CEO of Cullinan Transport, Geert van Doorn, told Tourism Update that employees at the company had taken salary cuts during this time to sustain it – but with the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Temporary Employee Relief Scheme coming to an end on August 15, more significant reductions in operations would need to be made.
Brooke-Leggatt said the strains on tourism vehicles were being felt beyond the tourism industry. “I’ve been in contact with Mercedes and Yutong [bus manufacturers] who have both said they are feeling the impact in their workshops without vehicles coming in for servicing.”