Small businesses in tourism must prove distress from Covid-19 to receive aid - minister

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has said that financial aid from her department would be focused on small enterprises in the tourism sector with a turnover of under R2.5 million.

To receive aid, businesses would have to prove they are in distress because of the impact of Covid-19.  

South Africa's tourism industry has "almost come to a standstill", she said, due to travel restrictions and social distancing to stop the spread of the pandemic.

The minister was briefing the media on Tuesday on President Cyril Ramaphosa's address from Monday evening, where he announced a 21-day country-wide lockdown and a number of economic interventions in an effort buoy the economy.

She said her department had established a R200 million fund to help small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector, but acknowledged that this was 'not enough' for all players in the industry.

"We are looking at the small businesses that are likely not to survive," she said. Criteria for aid will be published on her department's website.

In addition to having an annual turnover of under R2.5 million, Kubayi-Ngubane said that to receive funding businesses must be tax compliant, must have been in businesses for more than a year, and must show that they are in distress as a result of Covid-19.

She said the financial aid would seek to strike a balance between youth and women and B-BBEE criteria codes.

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