FEDHASA, the voice of hospitality in South Africa, has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address that the UIF TERS benefit will be extended to March 15 for sectors most impacted by lockdown measures.
“The hospitality industry, in particular, has been amongst the sectors hardest hit by lockdown measures with no business left unscathed, from the large group brands all the way down to a modest tavern or small coffee shop. Many have been unable to reopen, despite the easing of certain regulations in recent days, specifically due to the absence of international and corporate travel, as well as restrictions on operating hours and limits on customer capacity,” says FEDHASA Chairperson, Rosemary Anderson.
In a recent survey of over 200 FEDHASA members, projections from the industry, both accommodation and food and beverage businesses, showed an anticipated revenue decline of, on average, 72% when comparing February, March and April 2021 with the same period in 2019. Almost all respondents (95%) cited salaries as their biggest cost concern, indicating the dire need for the relief offered by the UIF TERS scheme.
FEDHASA continues to collaborate and lobby with Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), which has been calling for for the reintroduction of UIF TERS, as well as recognition of hospitality staff as frontline workers who should be considered early on in the roll-out of the country’s vaccination programme.
“We also welcome the update from the President that a great deal is happening behind the scenes to secure and fast-track the administering of vaccines, as we know that real relief for our sector will only come once the pandemic is under control and the majority of the population has been vaccinated. We look forward to more detail on this in the coming weeks as the reality is that a third wave and further restrictions would be the final nail in the coffin for many hospitality businesses,” concludes Anderson.