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It’s fair to state that the world is collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime. As South Africa heads into its predicted Covid-19 peak over the next two months, we are well aware of the enormous loss of human life at stake, and devastating consequences this will have on every aspect of our lives. Despite this, it’s also important to learn from the last four months as the virus swept, and continues to sweep, the globe. Crucially South Africa has worked hard to slow the spread and used this time to prepare as far as possible, at great economic and personal cost, for the inevitable late winter peak. Now is the time to ensure that our citizens and our government use the knowledge we have gained to minimise fear and use this foresight to prepare for the equally inevitable virus decline. This preparation will go a long way to reassure citizens and enable the travel industry to once again welcome guests back to South Africa – see our latest video calling for the reopening of travel.
By comparing data obtained in the South African Government Projections up until this week (blue graphs) with the actual data observed from the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases report, we found there is a positive story to tell.
Source: South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases
Overall, the flattened curve has allowed time for preparation in the private and public sectors including 28,000 hospital beds and 37,000 quarantine beds and PPE stocks as noted in President Ramaphosa’s July 13th statement.
Source: Our World In Data
South Africa is a unique country in terms of youthful population demographics, living standards and income per capita and thus has to be considered differently in terms of its Covid situation. That said:
As a country South Africa has taken major steps to prepare for the inevitable spike in new cases we are starting to see come through now. While this inevitably leads to dramatic headlines we need to weigh the evidence available to us and ensure we use that understanding to continue to combat the virus today and equally the fear of the that continues to sweep the world.
Equipped with these tools and the knowledge gained from those countries ahead of South Africa on the curve together with the positive signs discussed above we can continue through the expected peak in the coming weeks without unnecessary panic. This is crucial as we have spent the past few months preparing for this surge, we now need to have thought leaders and policy makers shifting focus to life after the peak and how best to ensure we are ready to reopen as quickly and safely as possible.
As PPE purchases and lockdowns were the necessary key to prepare for the peak, so Covid protocols around travel and work, clear milestones for reopening and clarity from government on border controls will pay massive and necessary dividends as we reopen and get South Africans back to work, and our guests access to some of the most spectacular (and socially distant) safari and wildlife experiences.
As we see the predicted increases in case numbers feeding news headlines over the coming weeks, it is important to appreciate that this too shall pass and travel will indeed return. Rather than a strategy of hope South Africa has taken solid steps to prepare thanks to early sacrifices to flatten the curve. Now as the peak draws nearer, we need to apply that same forward looking approach to ensuring while we meet the demands of the virus on our people today, we are looking ahead to ensure we are as prepared as possible for life and travel to return through smart planning and on the ground experience.
To our current and future guests that are waiting to travel or contemplating their next adventure while stuck at home, we will continue to be just a call away ready to advise and navigate this crisis as we look towards a brighter future already visible on the horizon.
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Grant grew up in Cape Town and graduated from UCT completing degrees in business, accounting and economics. Over the last 15 years he has split his career between Cape Town and New York. After initially starting out as a Chartered Accountant he moved into the role of a CPA in the private equity and real estate space. Joining Rhino Africa in 2016 he has led various areas of the business leading to his current dual role as CFO and COO of the tour operating business and property businesses. Luckily, Grant thrives on a challenge and no task is too big or too small, especially if there is a hidden angle to be explored. Grant's passion for travel, wildlife, adventure and knowledge sharing is evident in both how he spends his time professionally and personally.
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Is ist possible to Travel this year in December?
As a tourism company…when do you think we can welcome tourists back into SA( Bots, Zim, etc)?
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