Johannesburg – With the Covid-19 tourism relief scheme depleted, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Thursday said that she was hoping that the R200-million loan guarantee scheme would assist qualifying businesses who had not received financial help.
The tourism industry is battling to survive with businesses in distress and millions of jobs on the line as the impact of Covid-19 continued to ravage the economy.
Kubayi-Ngubane said that the R200 million that the industry had received to help keep the sector afloat ran out after only providing relief o about 60% of applicants.
In response, government eased regulations and extended the curfew to 10om to accommodate the battling restaurant industry.
Kubayi-Ngubane said that she was in talks with National Treasury and the Department of Employment and Labour on how they could make a reality.
More than 3,200 businesses who applied for the relief fund were left empty –handed because the money ran out. The minister asked for patience.
“I’m mindful that this does not bring any comfort to businesses that are in distress and to jobs that have been lost or are on the verge of being lost, however, we need to continue to work together to ensure that we rebuild our sector,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.
Kubayi-Ngubane also added that they had also set aside R30 million to provide financial support for freelance tourist guides over a period of three months.