- Afriforum and Solidarity have had their appeal to set aside the Covid-19 relief fund set aside
- They had claimed that the relief fund was discriminator based on the BBBEE conditions
- The court said that the empowerment codes did not discriminate
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Afriforum and Solidarity had launched a court appeal to have the Department of Tourism’s consideration of BBBEE for Covid-19 financial relief set aside.
However, the Constitutional Court has dismissed the appeal. The North Gauteng High Court sided with the department, saying that the empowerment codes did discriminate.
The Constitutional Court ruled that “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 the court on an urgent basis.”
Briefly.co.za learned that the judge did not attach a cost order. The department has earmarked R200 million in relief as the sector has been the hardest hit by the lockdown.
“It is imperative that SA gets legal certainty on whether, in a state of disaster, the constitution allows for discrimination based on race in order to qualify for relief. Solidarity is going to request access to the Constitutional Court. As the crisis is urgent, we believe the matter, too, is urgent,” said Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann prior to heading to the apex court.
“This action by the government cannot be justified in any way, and therefore Solidarity will not leave it at that,” Hermann said.
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Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is relieved by the court's decision as payments had already been made to individuals and companies according to TheSouthAfrican.
“The decision by the Constitutional Court is most welcome and consistent with a view that we have always maintained that the case lacked legal merit and moral standing. We have also always maintained that the design of our programmes are guided by principles of fairness, equity and justice. It is therefore inconceivable for this particular programme to be discriminatory on the basis on race”, Kubayi-Ngubane said.
“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. Applications received thus far exceed 13 000”, she further said.
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