tourism equity fund afriforum

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
(Photo: GCIS)

Tourism Equity Fund: AfriForum praised as interdict halts vital relief

The Tourism Equity Fund was widely critised for requiring that businesses in the severely impacted sector be 51% black owned to qualify

tourism equity fund afriforum

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
(Photo: GCIS)

After the North Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of an application by AfriForum and Solidarity to interdict the disbursement of stimulus payments by the government’s Tourism Equity Fund, the Democratic Alliance (DA) have applauded the organisations’ work to “reverse irrational racial barriers to relief funding”.  

The decision follows criticism of the R1.2 billion fund’s race requirements, with only allocates funds to tourism businesses with more than 51% black ownership. While the ruling has been welcomed in political spheres, the suspension of vital relief payments is another devastating blow to businesses in one of the sectors most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism Equity Fund suspends payments  

AfriForum and Solidarity argued that everyone should be entitled to the fund as all businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown measures, not just those that are BEE compliant. AfriForum Campaign Manager Jacques Broodryk was delighted with the result against a “racist” fund. 

“This ruling is a major victory against the ANC government’s institutional racism against minorities,” he said in a statement on Monday 26 April. 

“The racist tourism fund proves the seriousness of the government’s racial ideology in fiction and the only immune systems capable of fighting the government’s immoral racial discrimination seems to be fearless civil rights dogs such as AfriForum and Solidarity.“ 

Tourism Minister, Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that the ruling – which “restrains the processing and making of payments from the tourism equity fund” – will be honoured, but said that the Department of Tourism will need the Judge to elaborate on his decision so that they can properly understand his reasoning. 

DA applaud AfriForum after successful application  

The DA said in a statement on Wednesday 29 April that AfriForum and Solidarity should be applauded for their effort to suspend the relief funding, with the party’s Shadow Minister of Tourism, Manny de Freitas, saying that the race requirements excluded many affected businesses.

“We have long advocated for this fund to be more inclusive of all businesses in the tourism sector that have been affected by the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and not just those that are 51% black-owned,” he said. 

“The DA extends our congratulations to AfriForum and Solidarity in working to reverse government’s irrational racial barriers to relief funding. These barriers exclude many South Africans from receiving vital funding to save their livelihoods, their businesses and their employees from the growing lines and inconsistent payments of social grants.”

‘ANC pushing millions into poverty’  

De Freitas said that the ANC government has failed to provide relief to the millions of South Africans who’s livelihoods were put in perilous jeopardy by the pandemic, and accused the party of using the crisis to “line their own pockets”. 

“Instead of doing everything in its power to offer relief to businesses during an economic implosion of its own making, the ANC government is pushing increasing numbers of South Africans into poverty. Millions of South Africans have already lost their jobs since the start of lockdown, the majority of those due to irrational regulations imposed by a callous government only interested in lining their own pockets and those who are politically connected,” he said.