Banking sector urged to support village, township tourism businesses

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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism has urged the banking sector to help support small tourism businesses in villages and townships.

The committee received a briefing from the Banking Association South Africa (Basa).

Chairperson Supra Mahumapelo says engaging with the banking sector is necessary to help certain sections of the population to gain access to the formal economy.

Mahumapelo says the government has the responsibility to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and help end unemployment and poverty.

Basa agreed that township tourism businesses are currently not targeted.

Calls have also been made for the banking sector to support the performing arts sector with quick short-term funding.

Tourism department to oppose court application to scrap Tourism Equity Fund

The Department of Tourism announced its intention to oppose a court application to have the government’s R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund scrapped.

Last month, trade union Solidarity and lobby group AfriForum were granted an interdict by the High Court in Pretoria, stopping the Fund from processing applications for bailout funding from black-owned tourism enterprises that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fund only allows tourism businesses that are 51% black-owned and managed to apply for assistance.

Solidarity and AfriForum say this discriminates against white-owned companies and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was speaking during a media briefing.

As our legal team prepares to represent us in another court battle on transformation of the tourism sector, we do so with our unwavering resolve that the Fund is a necessary intervention within the constitutional values and imperatives for the creation of an equal society, tangibly addressing the imbalance of our country’s past,” says Kubayi-Ngubane.

Court battle looms over SA Tourism Equity Fund criteria: