President Cyril Ramaphosa says the R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund will be used to help the sector to bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to enable it to contribute to the country’s economic recovery.

The Department of Tourism established the fund in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

Speaking during the launch on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa said the aim of the fund was to boost struggling small businesses in the tourism sector.

“It is our aim through this fund to actively support black-owned businesses to run profitable, but more importantly sustain enterprises. It is also our aim to employ local people to procure goods and services locally and to make a real contribution to our economy. All qualifying enterprises who want to be part of the recovery and transformation of this vital industry, [can] apply to the fund starting from [Tuesday] because the funding is quite limited,” explains the President.

Government says the aim of its newly-launched tourism equity fund is to boost struggling small businesses in the sector.

The video below is reporting that businesses in the tourism sector to benefit from a R1.2 billion cash injection

Global tourism is believed to have lost more than R70 billion last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In South Africa, the sector lost many jobs.

Speaking virtually, Ramaphosa described the launch of the fund as a ground-breaking move that was expected to speed up the transformation of the tourism sector in the country.

“This launch is taking place when the tourism industry is facing severe challenges, from the smallest B&Bs, hotel chains, to local tour companies to airlines. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the tourism sector. Tourism directly accounts for about 2.9 and this industry supports about 1.5 [million] direct and indirect jobs.”

“These figures should be higher than what it is right now. It stimulates and supports the development of small business and it is one of the sectors that can play a pivotal role in transforming the economy,” explains the President.