Tourism sector shows signs of recovery

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Cabinet has commended recent statistics which show that the tourism sector is slowly but surely recovering from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to June 2023 data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the volume of arrivals, departures and travellers in transit increased for both South African residents and foreign travellers between June 2022 and June 2023.

For South African residents, the volume of arrivals increased by 265 364 in June 2022 to 316 628 in June 2023 (19.3%). Departures increased by 330 327 in June 2022 to 384 972 in June 2023 (16.5%). Transits increased from 305 in June 2022 to 389 in June 2023 (27.5%).

For foreign travellers, arrivals increased from 581 375 in June 2022 to 851 647 in June 2023 (46.5%). Departures increased by 44.3% from 503 997 in June 2022 to 727 207 in June 2023 (44.3%). Transits increased from 24 624 in June 2022 to 30 730 in June 2023 (24.8%).

At a media briefing on the outcomes of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister in The Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said Cabinet also welcomed Stats SA’s report of a drop in consumer inflation from 6.3% in May to 5.4% in June 2023, which is the largest decline since May 2020.

“This drop shows the resilience of our economy, which has been further buoyed by the South Africa Reserve Bank’s decision to leave the repo rate unchanged at 8.25%," she said on Thursday.

National Development Plan (NDP) Ten-Year Review

In addition, Cabinet welcomed the Ten-Year Review of the National Development Plan (NDP) by the National Planning Commission, which shows that the economy remains structured in a manner that does not serve the interests of all South Africans, which is a major reason behind increasing levels of poverty and inequality.

“Government remains committed to restructuring and transforming the economy to serve the interests of all South Africans,” Ntshavheni said.

Meanwhile, 25 July marked the first anniversary since President Ramaphosa announced the Energy Action Plan.

“Cabinet welcomed the progress made to date to implement the Energy Action Plan, which continues to register an improvement in the Energy Availability Factor and improvement in the stages of load shedding,” the Minister said.

Financial Inclusion Policy

Cabinet has approved the Financial Inclusion Policy for implementation.

The policy forms part of government’s reforms of the financial sector regulations, in line with the Twin Peaks model of National Treasury.

“The policy, amongst others, aims to ensure better market conduct and the treatment of customers in the financial sector. The purpose is to ensure that financial institutions conduct business in ways that are fair to customers, prevent practices that undermine the integrity of financial markets, and build confidence in the financial system.

“The implementation of the policy will ensure that the country strengthens its financial systems to support economic growth and promote access to financial services and financial inclusion for all citizens. It is an acknowledgment that while levels of access have improved in transactional accounts, this has not reflected across many other financial products and services,” the Minister said.

The policy is available on the National Treasury website:

Cabinet also approved the submission of the draft Amendment Bill to Parliament, which amends the Regulation of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act (RICA), 2002 (Act 70 of 2002).

“The amendments are largely to provide adequate safeguards to protect the right to privacy, as buttressed by the rights of access to courts, freedom of expression of the media and legal privilege in line with the 2021 Constitutional Court judgement that found the RICA of 2002 to be unconstitutional,” Ntshavheni said. –