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Lindiwe Sisulu says government dealt with the pandemic ‘excellently’

25 March 2022 - 08:00
Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has commended government for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. File photo.
Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has commended government for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. File photo.
Image: EDREA DU TOIT

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu commended government’s effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, claiming it managed to rise above challenges brought by it and the variants over the course of four waves of infections 

Sisulu was speaking at the fourth SA Investment Conference where she outlined plans to revive the tourism industry, which has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic due to travel restrictions. 

“I find this country has dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic excellently. We have been methodic, we have been particular about what we do.”

Sisulu said the discovery of the Omicron variant, which was dominant in the fourth wave of infections, presented a challenge when it was labelled “the SA variant”.

She said at the centre of cabinet’s handling of the pandemic was citizen safety.

“We did have a glitch when we discovered Omicron and explained to the world that we discovered it. What we didn’t realise is that it would be attached to us, but we are proud of our scientists and we’ve convinced the world it is not a SA variant,”

Sisulu said local tourism was instrumental to boost the industry throughout the pandemic.

She said SA and the sector were learning to adapt to living with Covid-19 and future variants.

The minister said the department is in talks with foreign embassies and will recruit young people who will be taught foreign languages, an investment expected to attract more international travellers and bring great returns in the sector. 

“It is encouraging when you arrive in a foreign country and somebody greets you in your language.”

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