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AfriForum and Solidarity investigate legal options over racist tourism fund

AfriForum and Solidarity instructed its legal teams to investigate legal options after Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, unveiled the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) as an institution that will provide black-owned tourism businesses with funding. Only businesses with at least 51% black ownership will qualify for loans or grants from this fund.

The fund of R1,2 billion is aimed at providing debt financing, making available grants to obtain shares and facilitating new project development in the tourism industry for black entrepreneurs.

“The COVID-19 crisis exposed government’s true colours and race-driven objectives. The President made it abundantly clear that government wants to use this fund to transform the tourism industry. Government has a responsibility towards all its citizens, however. It is a shame that it now wants to use life buoys to help the people on the riverside, while thousands of others are drowning,” says Monique Taute, Head of Campaigns at AfriForum.

“It is immoral to use money for new businesses and projects while existing businesses in the industry urgently need support after the economic crisis caused among others by government’s strict COVID-19 regulations that the tourism industry is subject to,” Taute says.

“It is only a conscienceless government that would cause harm to an industry by enforcing irrational restrictions and then refusing to compensate certain people in that industry. Government in effect destroyed white-owned tourism businesses by prohibiting almost everyone from conducting business, while only helping some to keep head above water. It is atrocious that government is using the detriment of people in the industry as an opportunity to drive their transformationist agenda. In their frame of mind, it is acceptable to celebrate the ruin of white-owned businesses merely because this leads to accelerated redistribution. We simply cannot allow this,” says Morné Malan, Head of Communication at Solidarity.

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