- The Gauteng High Court has dismissed the DA's call for the state to stop using BBBEE status when determining who gets Covid-19 assistance
- However, the court has dubbed the criteria be set aside and declared unlawful
- Nevertheless, the court ruled that the government must include race in the redrafted regulations
The Gauteng High Court has dismissed the Democratic Alliance's case for the minister of small business development to stop using BBBEE as a factor when dishing out Covid-19 aid.
The court did, however, rule that the department's criteria should be set aside and declared unlawful due to being too vague.
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshaveheni must redraft the regulations governing who will receive aid from the two funds set up to provide relief.
Judge President Dunstan Mlambo ruled that Minister Khumbudzo Ntshaveheni should include race in the regulations, despite the DA's arguments against it, reports News24.
The DA had argued that the government's decision to use BBBEE when deciding on candidates for relief was illegal.
In his judgment, Mlambo commented that the pandemic had only exposed the need for similar interventions:
"The outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa has brought sharply into focus the fissures in our society caused by race, gender and other forms of egregious discrimination. If we need any persuasion about the importance of our past and the [deep] seated racial divide in contemporary South Africa and how the need for scarce resources fall overwhelmingly on those who are poor and therefore black, look no further than on whom the brunt of the effect Covid-19 falls."
Briefly.co.za reported that the minister had defended her decision to implement the criteria amid intense criticism:
“The policy says that if you are a small business, in terms of the categories that we have put, you qualify to be exempted. The question we must ask [is] why our fellow white compatriots, South Africans, felt that they could ignore the laws of this country.”
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