NEWS & ANALYSIS

Solidarity & AfriForum trying to frustrate transformation of tourism

Party says it remains unwavering in its commitment to radical transformation of all sectors of economy

ANC CONDEMNS AFRIFORUM AND SOLIDARITY'S EFFORTS TO FRUSTRATE EFFORTS TO TRANSFORM THE TOURISM INDUSTRY

16 APRIL 2021

The African National Congress (ANC) condemns efforts by rightwing formations, Afriforum and Solidarity, to reverse the transformation efforts that have been initiated by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who is also a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC. The two organisations have brought litigation in the High Court challenging the Tourism Equity Fund with the sole purpose of reversing and undermining efforts to transform the sector and to build an inclusive economy.

The Tourism Equity Fund was established by the Minsiter of Tourism in partnership with the Small Enterprise Funding Agency (SEFA) to provide access to finance for black-owned small enterprises in the tourism sector that are at least 51% black-owned.

The Tourism Equity Fund is a critical instrument in the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). The tourism sector has been one of the biggest casualties of COVID-19. The Tourism Equity Fund is intended to revive the sector and to stimulate its growth and job creation. It targets people with disabilities, women and youth in the industry.

We note that both AfriForum and Solidarity had demanded and set an ultimatum for the suspension of the Tourism Equity Fund questioning the legality, morality and the qualification criteria for the fund, suggesting that it deviates from the provisions of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE Act) and that it is discriminatory and apartheid in reverse.

It is regrettable that AfriForum has a tendency to invoke the race card in order to demonise progressive interventions that are meant to support and empower the historically marginalized to become active participants in the economy.The ANC remains unwavering in its commitment to the radical transformation of all sectors of the South African economy and will continue to lead society in pursuit of this objective.

The ANC further welcomes concerted and tireless efforts by Minister Kubayi-Ngubane to transform the tourism sector and calls on all emerging entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities brought by these empowerment initiatives.

We regard AfriForum's litigation as a declaration of war against transformation and an inclusive economy. It is meant to suffocate and frustrate the emergence and sustainability of new players in the tourism sector - women and youth-owned entrepreneurs, tourism and leisure associations, stokvels and travel clubs in townships and rural areas. The Tourism Equity Fund is a ground-breaking empowerment tool which must be defended by all who are interested in an inclusive economy that benefits all.

Statement issued by the ANC, 16 April 2021