Township tourism hit hard by the Covid- 19

Loyiso Mfuku of Khayelitsha Travel. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA
Loyiso Mfuku of Khayelitsha Travel. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Township businesses are already feeling the pinch of the deadly Covid-19 virus, with tourism the hardest hit. And things are set to get even harder for some following president Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a 21-day national lockdown on Monday 23 March.

Founder of the Khayelitsha Travel Loyiso Mfuku said since the outbreak of the virus in the country his business took a knock.

He said he received numerous cancellations going as far as August. “These are tough times for us in this industry as a lot of people are cancelling their bookings due to the spread of this disease,” he said.

He said he usually gets international and national tour bookings, however, everything has since come to a standstill.

Mfuku said he is planning to temporarily layoff some staff to curb the spread of the diseases as most of his workers rely on public transport.

One of ABCD Travel founders Buntu Matole said since the virus broke out in South Africa things have changed for the worse. He said they normally deal with people that visit Cape Town for various events.

“A lot of events have been cancelled and that has affected us badly because we work a lot with people that come to events in the city,” he said.

Matole said they had to refund a lot of customers that had already made bookings.

Francine Higham, spokesperson for the provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities David Maynier, said a host of measures are being taken to support the tourism and travel sector.

These include assisting industry stakeholders and visitors to the Western Cape with issues such as cancellations and postponement, insurance and other staff and labour-related concerns.

She said the department of health has created flyers advising travellers returning to the country about measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“About 20 000 of these flyers have been dispatched to Cape Town International Airport to ensure the message is received,” she said.

Higham added that following their meeting with the tourism sector these flyers have been shared with the tourism industry to distribute to visitors in the Western Cape.

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