Black business group defends tourism equity fund
The Black Business Council (BBC) has expressed its full support for the creation of tourism equity fund which is meant to fund commercially viable and sustainable majority black owned businesses in the tourism sector.
President Cyril Ramaphosa officially launched the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) last month to provide a combination of grant funding, concessionary loans and debt finance to support equity acquisitions as well as new and expansion developments in the tourism sector by black entrepreneurs.
The fund was set up in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), an entity of the department of small business development. Its primary goal is to fund commercially viable and sustainable majority black-owned (minimum 51%) tourism enterprises including enterprises in rural areas and townships, and also to alleviate poverty, inequality and grow black-controlled tourism businesses.
BBC president Sandile Zungu said the organisation was fully behind the establishment of the fund as it would transform the tourism sector.
Zungu said BBC was aware that lawyers representing Solidarity and Afriforum were “tacitly” threatening legal action against the criteria that will be used to award funding to applicants claiming “it is exclusive on the basis of race and discriminates without any legal or justifiable basis.”
"The BBC would once again like to remind those that are against economic transformation that the policy of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) should be understood as a necessary mechanism to achieve a more just and equitable society,” said Zungu.
“When applied correctly, as is in this case, BBBEE does not confer unfair advantage for some companies over others based on race. Conversely, it does not have the effect of excluding white companies."
Zungu added that in the event of any legal action being pursued against TEF, the Black Business Council will join the legal battle as a friend of the court.
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