Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has silenced the “noise” regarding the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).
Addressing the media on Thursday on the latest Covid-19 regulations governing the tourism and hospitality sector under level 3, Kubayi-Ngubane said there was “misleading noise” about who the funds are meant for.
Here are five quotes from Kubayi-Ngubane’s address.
Not specifically for black people
“Allocation of funds was conducted in line with government policies and ensured that there was an equitable share of the resources across all regions of the country, including rural areas and small towns/dorpies.
“We are encouraged by the many letters of appreciation from patriotic South Africans, black and white, who did not listen to the misleading noise that the relief was specifically for black people. This ultimately confused and discouraged even those who qualified for the grant not to apply.”
More than 3,000 not funded
“Of the 7,284 valid applications submitted [to benefit from the R200m fund], our resources could only assist 4,000 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“We regret that a total of 3,284 applications were not funded due to depletion of resources, even though some qualified. Letters detailing the reasons for unfavourable considerations are being prepared and will be issued to all unfunded applicants soon.”
Slow process for freelance tourist guides
“A month ago, I announced that we have set aside R30m to provide financial relief for freelance guides over a period of up to three months. The processing of payments has taken longer due to some provincial offices closing down after they had positive Covid-19 cases.
“We have since received a list of 9,380 tourist guides from the provinces. It has come to our attention that some of the tourist guides are registered with UIF.”
“We welcome the decision by the minister of finance to review and change the qualifying criteria for the R200bn Covid-19 Loan Guarantee Scheme, so that more businesses can gain access to the funds.
“We also welcome the announcement by minister [Thulas] Nxesi of the extension of the temporary employer/employee relief scheme (TERS), until August 15. This will go a long way for many businesses and employees.”
“In light of the evolving Covid-19 situation, I have decided to release the draft plan for further consultation to all the stakeholders and the public before we finalise it for submission to the cabinet.
“The window for making inputs will start on August 1 when I release the document until August 15 2020. Inputs can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)