Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

The recent announcement by the government to lower the Black ownership requirement for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund from 51% to 30% has sparked criticism from the Democratic Alliance (DA), with Shadow Minister of Tourism Manny de Freitas stating that it is a tacit acknowledgment that Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) is ineffective.

De Freitas expressed his viewpoint, stating, “But for the government to ‘save face,’ they could not completely scrap this requirement.” He emphasized that while this change might provide some relief to the struggling tourism sector, it falls short of what is needed.

The Shadow Minister of Tourism urged the government to take more decisive action if it genuinely intends to support and boost the travel and tourism industries. In his view, the ownership requirements should be entirely eliminated.

De Freitas also referenced the Tourism Equity Fund, introduced during the stringent lockdown in 2020, which provided grants to businesses in the tourism and travel sector adversely affected by the pandemic. However, this assistance was contingent on businesses having a minimum of 51% Black ownership. De Freitas argued that this condition led to numerous businesses closing their doors, causing widespread unemployment and hardships for countless individuals in the sector.

To challenge this decision, De Freitas intends to submit official questions to Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille. He plans to inquire whether the government is considering a complete elimination of this ownership requirement in the future, aiming to facilitate unrestricted growth and development for all stakeholders in the tourism sector. This move seeks to address the concerns and difficulties faced by both business owners and employees in the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *