Winde welcomes 'good news' on international travel, says there was no need for red list

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Western Cape premier, Alan Winde. (Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24)
Western Cape premier, Alan Winde. (Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24)
  • Western Cape Premier Alan Winde believes there was no need for a red list.
  • He said the return of international travel will be good for the Western Cape economy.
  • Winde confirmed that unemployment in the province increased from 16.6% in quarter two to 21.6% in quarter three.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde insisted there had been no need for a red list as he hailed President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of the return of all international travel as "really good news" for the economy.

The red list was a list of countries considered high risk for the coronavirus, and from which tourists were banned.

"If we have protocols in place, we can welcome you from wherever you come from, on business or on leisure," he said at his weekly digicon on Thursday.

"That's really good for a key component of our Western Cape economy. Nothing defines it more than the jobs numbers that have just come out."

Stats SA on Thursday released the quarterly labour force survey for the third quarter of the year, which shows unemployment has increased to a record 30.8%, Fin24 reports.

Winde confirmed that, in the Western Cape, unemployment increased from 16.6% in quarter two to 21.6% in quarter three - which is still the lowest in the country.

"In the province, although that number is lower, it's still a massive impact on our citizens and on our economy," he said.

Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced that the government was working to allow all parts of the economy to return to full operation as quickly and safety as possible.

As such, liquor sales will return to normal trading hours and international travel will be opened to all countries, subject to the presentation of a negative Covid-19 certificate.

"We expect that these measures will greatly assist business in the tourism and hospitality sectors," Ramaphosa said.

Meanwhile, the Garden Route, a popular destination with tourists, has been flagged for a "bush fire" following an increase in the number of positive cases in the region.

Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape's health department, said there had been an increase in cases across all the sub-districts, excluding Kannaland.

"The main sub-districts of concern are George, Knysna and Bitou," he confirmed.

In George, Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp and Conville have been flagged as the hotspots.

In Knysna, cases are "widespread", but specifically in the town itself, as well as Hornley.

In Bitou, Kwanokuthula is the main area of concern, with test positivity rates of up to 32% noted, although cases are also said to be widespread.

The increase in cases for the past seven days, in relation to the week before, was largely due to the increase in the province's rural districts, he said.

According to the provincial coronavirus dashboard, the Western Cape has 3 624 active cases, with 558 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

Of the 119 141 cases confirmed since the start of the outbreak, 111 087 have recovered, while 4 430 have died.

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