SolidarityEngineering News reports that trade union Solidarity and civil rights organisation AfriForum have welcomed the decision by Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane to suspend the Tourism Equity Fund’s (TEF's) activities until discussions have taken place with the organisations.  

The suspension came after the two bodies sent an urgent letter to the Minister about the fund, which intends to only offer financing to black-owned tourism businesses.  In the Minister’s reply to Solidarity and AfriForum, she announced that she wished to enter into discussions with them.  She also announced that the fund would be suspended for the duration of those discussions.  The R1.2-billion TEF, aimed at driving transformation in the tourism sector, was launched by the department on 26 January.  “Government has introduced lockdown measures due to Covid-19 and with it, limited trade and the larger economy.  This resulted in thousands of businesses, especially in the tourism industry, not being able to generate any income for months on end. What government needs to do now, is reach out a hand to these businesses and support them, rather than abusing this opportunity to promote their racial ideology.  We welcome the opportunity to enter into a discussion with the Minister regarding this matter,” said Morné Malan, Head of Communications at Solidarity.

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