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Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane acknowledges the difficulties experienced by businesses during this challenging time. Therefore, the Department of Tourism of South Africa encourages eligible businesses to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund during the application period from 07 April to 30 May 2020.

The intervention will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector as South Africa’s tourism industry consists mainly of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). The Tourism Relief Fund aims to provide a R200 million once-off capped grant assistance to SMMEs to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa. The Department of Tourism hopes the support offered through the Tourism Relief Fund will assure the survival of SMMEs beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant funding can be utilised to subsidise expenses such as fixed costs, operational costs, supplies and other pressure cost items. Capped at R50 000 per entity and preference will be given to enterprises with the highest score in terms of the criteria, which serves as a pre-qualification. A panel of experts will conduct the final evaluation in terms of functionality.

The fund is 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, which is in line with the B-BBEE Amendment Act No. 46 of 2013. The Tourism Relief Fund is administered in line with the objectives of Economic Transformation and the vision to ensure sustainable and inclusive tourism development. The disbursement of funds will ensure equitable spatial distribution in terms of provinces.

Categories eligible to apply for the Tourism Relief Fund includes:

  • Accommodation establishments: hotels; resort properties; Bed and Breakfast (B&B’s); guesthouses; lodges and backpackers.
  • Hospitality and related services: restaurants (not attached to hotels); conference venues (not attached to hotels); professional catering and attractions.
  • Travel and related services: tour operators; travel agents; tourist guiding; car rental companies and coach operators.

Originally written by Vicky Karantzavelou, TravelDailyNews

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