Solidarity’s row with tourism minister not over

Union and partner AfriForum set to appeal ConCourt dismissal of Covid-19 Tourism Relief Fund case.
Lacks ‘moral standing’, says Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane of the case. Image: GCIS

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane welcomed the Constitutional Court’s dismissal on Friday of the joint Solidarity/AfriForum application to appeal and set aside the use of broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) criteria as part of the department’s R200 million Covid-19 Tourism Relief Fund for small businesses.

“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for leave to appeal directly to this court on an urgent basis,” the country’s apex court said on Friday. “It has concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interest of justice to hear it at this stage, as there are insufficient grounds raised for a direct appeal to this court on an urgent basis.”

The court attached no costs to the order.

The Constitutional Court’s decision represents the tourism minister’s second victory within a month in the case brought by trade union Solidarity in association with civil rights organisation AfriForum.

Read: Tourism department wins BEE case

AfriForum, however, said over the weekend that the battle is not over, and it now plans to take the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal. Solidarity and AfriForum took their fight to the Constitutional Court last week after losing the initial case brought before the Pretoria High Court late in April.

“The decision by the Constitutional Court is most welcome and consistent with a view we have always maintained that the case lacked legal merit and moral standing,” Kubayi-Ngubane said in a statement.

“We have also always maintained that the design of our programmes are guided by the principles of fairness, equity and justice.

“It is therefore inconceivable for this particular programme to be discriminatory on the basis on race,” she added.

“We call upon both AfriForum and Solidarity to allow the department to focus on the work at hand, primarily the provision of the much-needed relief to distressed beneficiaries and the imperative to lead the recovery of sector,” she said.

Kubayi-Ngubane noted that more than 13 000 applications have been received thus far for support from the Tourism Relief Fund.

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“The [Tourism] Department has already started processing payments to beneficiaries, and it is important to note that this includes both black and white business owners,” she stressed.

Solidarity, AfriForum and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have objected to the use of B-BBEE criteria being used in determining which businesses benefit from some of government’s Covid-19 relief funds, arguing that all business are facing a financial fallout from the impact of the pandemic.

‘Nothing racial or shameful’

In dismissing Solidarity’s initial case in the Pretoria High Court late last month, Judge Jody Kollapen found “nothing racial or shameful” in the Tourism Department’s use of B-BBEE criteria in dispersing funding related to the Covid-19 relief fund.

He also noted that the scoring criteria are not rigid or inflexible, which means that white-owned tourism businesses would still be able to access funding. B-BBEE status accounts for 20 points of the department’s overall criteria.

In its latest statement, the Tourism Department reiterated the high court’s dismissal of the initial case brought by Solidarity. “The court also agreed with the department that the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will result in the closure of black business and would undermine and setback transformation.”

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Once again, racism rears it’s ugly head in the government of our country…..
Tourism and hospitality is probably the only sector of our economy to give hope and dignity to the majority of South Africans with its jobs opportunities in a working economy. If these people are not supported at this time, due to circumstances beyond their control, they will change their votes next time around. And it could go either way!
Just because jobs in this sector are seen to be created by ( hotels/restaurants/touring companies) and for (tourists/ patrons etc) a “white minority” should not mean you must punish those that work in the tourism/travel/hospitality industry.
The limited vision by this minister is mind boggling!

Is it really though? … mind boggling?
Compared to everything else this government have done over the last 8 weeks, this seems to be right on par.
Seen the state of the water tanks that was suppose to assist rural communities to wash their hands?
Just another get rich quick scheme for a cadre.

While as a nation we bought into the concept of righting the wrongs of the past in the leveling of the playing field through BBBEE. The practicalities of this has revealed that the politically connected elite caders are the ones that have benefited the most from this and not the general people of SA that it perceived would address.

The challenge should be on the unconstitutional discriminating laws such as BBBEE as a whole.

The question remains, how can SA be considered a free, fair and equal opportunity nation when we continue to have laws that continue to promote discrimination?

Solidarity should save their money. No tourist will arrive at the shores of a country where you can neither smoke nor drink. So let the government hand out the money to whomever they like, not one success story will derive from that.

The problem is deeper than you allude to – it is taxpayer monies that is being distributed and as such the government is making no attempt to level the playing field by compartmenting who gets and who doesn’t

This is the right thing to do.
THEANC Further refer to B-BBEE criteria but in practice there is virtually nothing Broad Based in reality.

To try apply that to a time of national disaster to being used in determining which businesses benefit from some of government’s Covid-19 relief funds is anti constitutional.

This decision has completely changed my outlook on BEE and SA. It is a disgraceful ruling from the court.

I will not contribute one cent to any fund for any relief.

Post covid , SA needs to innovate and to perform in order to save the county, I thought it’s time to scrap BEE altogether and focus on growth .

BEE is a failure, it created black diamonds and many public servants (glorified grant earners) , not much more.

Let’s create business that can compete , let’s grow and let’s export , all people of all races will naturally benefit from growth.

Sure took you a long time to wake up oracle.

lol

“The decision by the Constitutional Court is most welcome and consistent with a view we have always maintained that the case lacked legal merit and moral standing”. If this story is correct, this statement by the minister is deceitful, which would not be surprising. According to the story the Concourt dismissed it on the basis of urgency, not on the merits of the case.

Correct -typical ANC lie and deny jargon. But I really think Solidarity should pick their legal battles more carefully and get better legal advice. The CC was a loser from word go.

The Constitutional Court is clearly captured as well …. or maybe just that specific judge? There is absolutely NO chance of this case NOT being urgent. Now there will be no money left when the case is heard?

What world is Soludarity living in ?
SA is more divided than ever , do’nt look for “fairplay” from this govt . every sector needs to look after it’s own

Hopefully MW will get over being PC and publish my original comment which is closer to the truth

This is disgraceful. Maybe the struggle heroes should start opening their mouths again. 26 Years on and they are still pushing this nonsense.

End of comments.

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