The Tourism Minister has acknowledged the receipt of a Solidarity and Afriforum letter, threatening legal action against the criteria to qualify for funding in government’s Tourism Equity Fund (TEF), which is aimed at helping the sector bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and contribute to the country’s economic recovery.

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the R1.2 billion fund three days ago.

In the letter received on Friday, AfriForum and Solidarity demand confirmation by no later than Tuesday, 2 February, that the operationalisation of the TEF be suspended claiming “it is exclusive on the basis of race, and discriminates without any legal or justifiable basis.”

Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, says she is currently considering the letter and will respond in due course.

Kubayi-Ngubane says she is also encouraged by the interest already shown in the fund and has called for enterprises who qualify to continue to apply and expresses such intentions through its partner, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).

In the video below is a news report on the R1.2 billion cash injection:

It is not the first time that Solidarity and AfriForum have brought legal action against the Department over its funding criteria.

Last year, the two organisations lost numerous court bids to challenge the implementation of the COVID 19 Tourism Relief Fund.