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Tourism to assist SMMEs on COVID-19 Interventions

March 26, 2020

Department of Tourism

The tourism department has made an additional R200 million available to assist small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.

The department announced this in a statement on Covid-19 interventions for the tourism sector.

According to the department, the fund will benefit SMMEs in all nine provinces and various tourism sub-sectors.

“Necessarily and rightly there will be a degree of bias towards rural areas, townships, women, young people and people with disabilities.”

Applicable categories include accommodation: hotels, resort properties and bed and breakfast; hospitality and related services: restaurants (not attached to hotels), conference (not attached to hotels), professional catering, attractions and travel and related services: tour operators; travel agents; tourist guides; car rental companies and coach operators.

Application Qualifying Criteria includes a formally registered business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission; turnover must not exceed R2.5 million per year; a valid tax clearance certificate; proof of minimum wage compliance; proof of UIF registration for employees employed by the business; in existence for at least one business financial year; prove that the relief is required as a result of the impact of COVID-19; submit statements of financial position such as over 12 months’ bank statement, balance sheet, income statements, cash flow statements and indicate how the resources will be used.

The department emphasized that the “relief will be distributed in a spatially equitable manner to ensure that all provinces benefit”.

It will continue to work with all tourism stakeholders to ensure that, once restrictions on COVID-19 are lifted, a set of interventions are implemented to facilitate quick recovery from the temporary setback.

“These will include readiness for the rollout of the e-visa system, resolving the challenges around the issuance of licenses for tour operators, ensuring that all our campaigns globally and domestically and associated enabling partnerships are in place and ready to be rolled out.”