COVID-19: South Africa Sets up Tourism Relief Fund

Tourism relief fund

By Adedapo Adesanya

The South African Department of Tourism has placed a call to eligible companies to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund set up by South African Government.

The relief package of R200 million (200 million Rands) was established by the South African Government as an intervention to help businesses in the sector to lessen the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department has called on companies to apply to the Fund during the application period which runs from April 7 to May 30, 2020.

The Tourism Relief Fund, when granted, will provide once-off capped assistance to Small Micro and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.

Speaking on the package, SA Minister of Tourism, Mr Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said the package was necessarily to cushion the SMMEs in the country which are limited to accessing funds unlike larger corporations.

“We acknowledge the difficulties experienced by businesses during this time, hence the need to support the industry and communities to cope with the negative effects of this pandemic.

“Our tourism industry is comprised of mainly SMMEs, most of which are survivalists in nature, with limited access to funding from commercial institutions.

“We hope the support offered through the Tourism Relief Fund will assure the continued survival of SMMEs beyond the COVID–19 pandemic,” he said.

Each business entity will get R50,000 (0.025 percent each) of the grant which will be utilised to subsidise expenses towards fixed costs, operational costs, supplies and other pressure cost items.

The Minister also noted that preference will be given to enterprises with the highest score in terms of the criteria, which serve as a pre-qualification, adding that a  panel of experts will conduct the final evaluation in terms of functionality.

Guided by the Tourism Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practices approved by the Minister of Trade and Industries in 2015 (in line with the B-BBEE Amendment Act No. 46 of 2013), the Tourism Relief Fund will be administered in line with the objectives of Economic Transformation, and the country’s vision to ensure sustainable and inclusive tourism development.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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