Department of Tourism
The Tourism Equity Fund is not a relief fund.
The tourism department emphasized this in a statement following a meeting between the tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, and Solidarity and AfriForum on transformation and the Fund.
The Fund was set up and launched in January 2021 by the department in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, as a “new financial support mechanism to stimulate investment and transformation in the tourism sector”.
The Fund will be valued at just over R1.2 billion with the department providing R540 million over three years.
The department pointed out that the Fund will provide a “combination of debt finance and grant funding to facilitate equity acquisition as well as new project development, to broaden participation by all South Africans and not just a few dominant players”.
The Fund was set up as a “public/private partnership, in particular with commercial banks, in an effort to crowd-in investments in the tourism sector so as to increase diversification and the broadening of ownership of tourism attractions in South Africa”.
Solidarity and AfriForum had earlier threatened legal action against the roll out of the Tourism Equity Fund suggesting that it deviates from the provisions of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.
The minister reiterated that government remains committed to “successfully implement our vision of building a rapidly and inclusively growing tourism economy that is innovative and leverages on our heritage”.
According to the minister, Solidarity and AfriForum were informed that the Tourism Equity Fund is a “necessary intervention for creating an inclusive tourism economy, in which previously disadvantaged individuals, youth and women, are represented and can actively participate in ownership and control”.