AfriForum and Solidarity’s legal team today submitted an application in their case against the Department of Tourism in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. This follows after Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, last year introduced the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) as an institution that supplied financing only to black-owned tourism businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown. Only businesses with at least 51% black ownership qualify for loans or subsidies from this fund.
Apart from assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the objectives of the R1,2 billion fund are to offer debt financing, as well as subsidies to obtain shares, and to make project development in the tourism industry easier for black entrepreneurs.
“The COVID-19 crisis once again highlighted the government’s race-based objectives. It is unthinkable that government wants to use money to fund new businesses and projects while existing businesses in the sector urgently need assistance. One of the reasons for the economic crisis which these businesses currently experience, is the strict COVID-19 regulations imposed by government on the tourism industry. AfriForum will not allow the government to use the plight of people in the tourism industry as an opportunity to drive their transformation agenda,” says Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Manager of Campaigns.
“Cadres with political connections cannot use the crisis in the tourism sector as an opportunity to fill their pockets. There is several criteria that can rather be used but the government is obsessed with race and stuck in the trap of rent-seeking and narrow-minded interests. They promote their own priorities at the peril of the tourism industry and of South Africa. We cannot allow this,” concludes Morné Malan, Head of Communication at Solidarity.