The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, dismisses with contempt claims by Afriforum to the effect that she has been served with court papers for the review of the Tourism Relief Fund.
Since Afriforum made this assertion in a media statement issued on Tuesday, we have been inundated by inquiries from the public on the matter. We therefore would like to put it categorically clear to the public that no such court papers were filed with the court by Afriforum to date. Therefore, any statement issued to the contrary is disingenuous.
We received papers from attorneys of Afriforum purporting to be an Urgent Court Interdict to the Relief Fund and further indicating that we should respond by 09h00 today. Our position is that those papers, which were emailed to us, did not have acourt case number, meaning there is no court process, which was initiated, and we are not able to respond to court.
The Tourism Relief Fund, which AfriForum is vehemently opposing, provides once-off capped grant assistance to Small Micro and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in the tourism value chain to ensure their sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.
Capped at R50 000 per entity grant funding can be utilised to subsidise expenses towards fixed costs, operational costs, supplies and other pressure cost items. The fund is guided by the Tourism Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice approved by the Minister of Trade and Industries in 2015 (in line with the BBBEE Act No.53 of 2003), and administered in line with the objectives of Economic Transformation, and our vision to ensure sustainable and inclusive tourism development.
The Department of Tourism is acting in accordance with Section 10 of the B-BBEE Act which makes the application of BBBEE codes of good practice mandatory as it states that: “[e]very organ of state … must apply any relevant code of good practice issued in terms of this Act in … determining criteria for the awarding of incentives, grants and investment schemes in support of broad-based black economic empowerment.”
Our government is aware of the difficulties experienced by businesses during this time and hence the need to support the industry and communities to cope with the negative effects of this pandemic Any person or business in the tourism sector can apply for the fund, regardless of the colour of their skin. Applicants are required to be fully compliant as required by law. More information on the fund are available on our website www.tourism.gov.za.
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