Dec 2023 edition

SEFA accepting Tourism Equity Fund applications

Written by Sihle Manda

On the back of Cabinet’s stamp of approval in September, government has announced the introduction of the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) in an effort to promote growth and transformation, funding challenges, and stimulate job creation in the sector.

The TEF is a fund established by the Department of Tourism (DT) in collaboration with the private sector’s banking institutions in line with the existing B-BBEE legislation. It will be implemented by the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) on behalf of the DT.

The TEF offers a blended finance support in the form of a loan from Sefa and any other strategic financiers and grant funding from DT.

In the first step of the application process, applicants must complete and submit an online application through the Sefa website ( for the grant and /or loan component.  Sefa loan is limited to R15m. An applicant may also apply for a loan component from any other financier of their choice. “Please note that applicants must meet the application requirements of the respective financiers selected,” announced Sefa.

The pre-screening of applicants will then commence. Applicants, said the agency, will be screened against the qualifying criteria and eligibility as outlined in their website.

“Applicants who meet pre-screening criteria, will proceed to a full due diligence. At this stage, the feasibility of the application will be evaluated.

“At the due diligence stage, applications will be assessed for financial viability, growth, and sustainability. Processes, systems, and capabilities will be tested against the supporting documentation. After this stage, and subject to a successful due diligence process, applications will be considered for approval,” continued Sefa.

The approval will, however, be subject to availability of funds.

Funding Focus Areas

Accommodation: This encompasses establishments like hotels; resort properties, bed and breakfast (B&B), guest houses, game lodges, resorts, and backpackers facilities.

Hospitality and Related Services: This category includes conference and convention venues that are significantly tied to accommodation facilities, restaurants, and professional catering. Privately owned attractions within well-established tourism hubs are also eligible for consideration.

Travel and Related Services: This comprises tour wholesalers, tour operators, travel agents, tourist guides, car rental companies, and coach operators.

Other Tourism-Related Initiatives: The Tourism Equity Fund is open to enterprises within the Tourism Sector and all parts of the value chain as prescribed in the Tourism B-BBEE Sector Code. 

For more information, including qualifying criteria, visit

For enquiries only, call 012 748 9600 or email:

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