Home Business A Total of 985 Applications for the Tourism Equity Fund

A Total of 985 Applications for the Tourism Equity Fund

by Central News Reporter
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Tourism south africa

Tourism Equity Fund

The Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) application process has received a tremendous response from prospective applicants since its opening on 6 November 2023. As of now, a total of 985 applications have been initiated, with 131 completed applications that meet all the necessary requirements.

This represents a significant interest from businesses in the tourism sector to access the R1.2 billion fund, which aims to drive growth and transformation and promote inclusive participation in the industry.

The TEF was announced by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa), following Cabinet’s approval for the revised TEF implementation in September 2023. The fund is designed to address the funding challenges faced by Qualifying Small Enterprises and Emerging Micro Enterprises in the tourism sector and aligns with the targets of the Tourism Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Sector Codes.

According to Sefa, the 131 submitted applications have a combined investment value of just over R2 billion. This underscores the potential impact of the TEF in driving investment and growth in the tourism industry. While specific details about the nature of the projects or enterprises that have applied for TEF support are not yet available, Sefa’s preliminary report indicates the geographical distribution of the applications. Notably, 45 applications originated from Gauteng, 21 from KwaZulu-Natal, and between 10 and 14 applications each were submitted from Limpopo, North West, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape, with only one application from the Free State.

The next steps in the application process involve pre-screening and due diligence, which includes a detailed assessment of financial viability, FICA compliance, credit and legal checks. Sefa has provisionally scheduled committee meetings in Quarter 4 between January and March 2024 to consider the readiness of projects and finalize the adjudication process.

Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille, expressed her encouragement at the level of interest and applications received for the TEF, emphasizing that the fund is aimed at driving empowerment and transformation to support the growth of new and emerging enterprises in the tourism sector. She reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting inclusive economic growth and job creation through investments in the tourism industry.

The TEF will be implemented through a partnership between the Department of Tourism, Sefa, and banking and financial institutions in South Africa. It will disburse 80% of the funds to existing Small Medium and Micro Enterprises in the market to enable their growth, with the remaining 20% allocated to new businesses. The funding structure comprises grant funding and debt financing to meet the distinct needs of tourism enterprises seeking equity acquisition, new developments, or expansion of existing businesses.

Applicants, including previous ones, are encouraged to submit new applications that align with the new qualifying criteria of the TEF, in line with Regulation Gazette No 11067. More information on the TEF and the application process can be found on the Department of Tourism’s official website.

Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship unlawful and invalid - Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille

Tottenham Hotspur sponsorship unlawful and invalid – Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille

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