A R5 million boost to the Graskop Gorge Lift Company in Mpumalanga by the Tourism Transformation Fund will jumpstart more development in the popular Panorama Route.
“We are proud to announce that this project will receive R5 million funding for its next development phase through the Tourism Transformation Fund of the Department of Tourism,” said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.
The Minister announced the funding of the next development phase of the company on Friday.
The R5 million rand investment, is a shave off the R120 million Tourism Transformation Fund established by the Tourism department to support black investors and communities to develop and expand tourism related projects.
“The Graskop Gorge Lift Centre will work as a node to stimulate further development in the Panorama Route. This project therefore fits in neatly with the department’s destination development plans which focuses on precincts and nodes development. By clustering several attractions together, they can feed off each other and grow together to make South Africa a more competitive destination,” said Hanekom.
Along with the Graskop Gorge Lift Company, Tala Collections Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, will receive R3.6 million funding.
Applications for tourism fund extended
The Minister also announced that the application window of the Tourism Transformation Fund has been extended to 30 November 2018.
The fund is administered by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) on behalf of the Department of Tourism. It aims to reduce funding gaps between the investor’s own contribution and the approved loan/equity contribution by the NEF.
Funding is capped at a maximum of R5 million for each successful applicant.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their application forms and supporting documents directly to the NEF, who will comb through applications for their commercial viability. To date, the NEF has received 49 formal applications for the funding, and these are being adjudicated.