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The National Empowerment Fund Showcasing R200 Million Worth Of Investment At Africa's Travel Indaba

Africa's Travel Indaba is the biggest platform for African tourism businesses to meet global buyers of their products and services.
The National Empowerment Fund Showcasing R200 Million Worth Of Investment At Africa's Travel Indaba
Image credit: Travel Indaba
Entrepreneur Staff
3 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and 8 of its investees recently exhibited at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019, which took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban (02 to 04 May 2019).

The three-day show attracts Africa’s finest tourism and travel trade offerings, which attract the most influential buyers in the world. 

“Every year we  drive massive growth in tourism numbers by bringing together a range of our best and most unique products from across our continent, and connecting them with buyers from across the world,” says Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism.

“Tourism product owners across the continent share the common challenge of attracting visitors in an increasingly competitive global market," said Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa,  CEO of the NEF.  

"The tradeshow illustrates how tourism offerings from various African countries have differentiated themselves by using their unique cultural, historical and natural assets to the full benefit of their tourism industries. Africans must own their narrative so that they can embark on the journey of changing the continent's story."

Tourism Transformation Fund

The Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF) focuses exclusively on the transformation of the South African tourism sector. According to this agreement the NDT will transfer a total of R120 million to the NEF over a 3-year period to be applied as grant funding for the benefit of qualifying enterprises that meet the funding eligibility criteria as set out by the two institutions. To date the NDT has transferred a total of R80 million towards the TTF. 

The NEF  finances the loan and shareholder loan portions of the transactions and NDT funds are applied as grant funding through the TTF. The fund provides a maximum grant of R5 million or 30% of the total project funding requirement to each eligible transaction.

The fund was launched as a pilot for three years where three application windows will be advertised for the public to make submissions directly to the NEF.  

“All these initiatives are an indication of our commitment to ensuring that tourism plays the strategic role that it has the potential to play in turning around the economic fortunes of the country while also creating equitable participation in the economy.  

The NEF has already committeed over R200 million to the sector, and this is set to grow meaningfully as a result of our dynamic partnership with the Department of Tourism,” added Mthethwa.

Participating investees

Some of the beneficiaries of NEF funding in the sector include:

  • Graskop Gorge Lift Company (Mpumalanga) – R40 million
  • Rhino Ridge Lodge in Hluhluwe (KZN) – R20.5 million
  • Royal Thonga Safari Lodge (KZN) – R9.8 million
  • Tiger Lodge in Jozini (KZN) – R28 million
  • Park Inn Polokwane (Limpopo) - R4.8 million
  • Donga La Boutique in Ladysmith (KZN) – R6.3 million 
  • Tala Lodge (KZN) – R14.1 million 

“South Africa’s spectacular scenery, excellent infrastructure and distinction as a destination of choice, position the country as among the most desired places to visit and do business in, globally. The Indaba will allow NEF investees an unrivalled and effective platform to showcase their products and services, and to do business with their counterparts from across the world,” says Mthethwa. 

Related: The Impact of Africa's Digital Hospitality Transformation

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