South Africans looking for a quick getaway have been told by tourism bodies that they can book holidays and overnight stays in accredited accommodation, despite what was said by Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Friday. According to leading industry figures, the door is now open for intra-provincial travel.
CAN WE TRAVEL? TOURISM INDUSTRY SAYS IT’LL OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Kubayi-Ngubane said on Friday that no accommodation will be allowed to open – contradicting what the president had previously said, and going against what had just been published in the updated lockdown laws.
But Tourism Update now report that the jumbled regulations – initially advised by President Cyril Ramaphosa – do allow “for intra-provincial travel on the grounds of leisure purposes”. Various tourism industry stalwarts have moved to clarify the conflicting messages set down by the government.
Neil Emerick is one of those leading voices; he’s desperate to cut through the jargon and welcome patrons back to their favourite getaways. The Director of NightsBridge has publicly stated that the wording in the recent government gazette does not forbid hotels and guest houses from reopening, so long as visitors are based in the same province as their destination.
The Minister appears to be wrong in terms of what the regulations say. Section 39(2)(e) prohibits non-accredited accommodation ‘such as private homes for paid leisure accommodation’. This means leisure travel is open for ALL hotels and guest houses.”
-NightsBridge Director and Founder, Neil Emerick
INTRA-PROVINCIAL TRAVEL – “HOLIDAY, BUT WITHIN YOUR LOCAL BORDERS”
Similar sentiments were expressed by the lobby group South Africa is Travel Ready (SAITR). They have announced that there are no laws prohibiting intra-provincial travel, so long as citizens were staying in accommodation venues that are accredited and licensed. AirBnBs remain off-limits, however:
“The regulations issued on Friday outline specific economic exclusions, including short-term home-sharing, letting, rental for leisure purposes and, for now, domestic air journeys for leisure. There are no exclusions outlined for intra-provincial domestic leisure overnight stays in accredited, licensed accommodation”.
WHAT IS INTRA-PROVINCIAL TRAVEL, AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO INTER-PROVINCIAL TRAVEL?
It’s worth noting, however, that intra-provincial travel is different to inter-provincial travel. “Intra” means “within” the province, and therefore, no-one will be allowed to cross provincial borders.
Therefore, someone in Cape Town could travel to Knysna. Those in Durban can go to Richard’s Bay. But you wouldn’t, for example, be able to travel from Johannesburg into Limpopo, because no-one is freely allowed to leave their province during Level 3 of lockdown. People will only be allowed a ‘local break’ under these rules.