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Tourism Minister: My nightmare is state of sector after COVID-19 crisis

AfriForum and Solidarity have argued that the disaster management regulations confine her power to give directions to matters relating to COVID-19 and does not include empowerment goals.

FILE: Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Tourism Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said she had nightmares about the state of the tourism industry after the COVID-19 pandemic and that was why she was challenging lobby group AfriForum in court.

AfriForum and trade union Solidarity have taken the department and the minister to court over the decision to have Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) as a requirement when allocating funds to businesses from the tourism relief fund.

They have argued that the disaster management regulations confine her power to give directions to matters relating to COVID-19 and does not include empowerment goals.

The minister said she came to court on Tuesday because she believed this case was worth fighting.

“We do believe that in what we do, the law has not been suspended. We do believe that many those who are previously disadvantaged continue to suffer.”

She said the efforts made to transform the industry may be lost after the lockdown.

“One of the things that give me sleepless nights is to see the sector after COVID-19 not having much diversity, not being inclusive – that becomes my nightmare as the minister.”

The department is unable to start distributing funds until judgment on this case has been handed down.