FIN24 / 04 AUGUST 2020 - 17.33 / CARIN SMITH
Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Tuesday made public a list of small, medium and micro enterprises which benefited through the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund.
Many of the businesses have utilised the funding to subsidise fixed costs, operational costs and supplies.
The aim of the fund was to help businesses negatively affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdowns. The tourism industry in South Africa has been very hard hit.
Grants from the fund were capped at R50 000 per enterprise and, therefore, only 4 000 businesses could get support.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism, there has been positive feedback in appreciation of the aid.
"The allocation of funding was conducted in line with government policies and ensured that the benefit is spread geographically across the country to cover even businesses in small villages and townships," states the Ministry.
"As government, we remain committed to working with all stakeholders in whatever way we can, as we understand that these are extremely difficult times for the sector and this situation demands that we work together to weather the storm going forward."
Beneficiaries stretched across the sub-sectors of accommodation, hospitality and travel services. In the Eastern Cape there were 457 beneficiaries; in the Free State 134; in Gauteng 1 017; in KwaZulu-Natal 607; in Limpopo 294; in Mpumalanga 238; in North West 162; in the Northern Cape 124; and in the Western Cape 967.
The list of beneficiaries of the grants is available here.
At the end of May Kubayi-Ngubane announced an additional R30 million in coronavirus relief made available for tour guides. The aim was to fill a gap left between the R200-million tourism relief fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund, by covering some of those who were not previously eligible for assistance.
Trade Union Solidarity and its civil rights associate, AfriForum has unsuccessfully attempted to challenge government's decision to use broad-based black economic empowerment scores to determine who is eligible for the R200 million in emergency funding for tourism businesses. This was after Kubayi-Ngubane indicated that transformational scores for the sector would form part of the funding criteria.
The Department of Trade and Industry adopted tourism's empowerment codes of good practice in 2015.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER