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Is ConCourt dismissal end of Solidarity, tourism dept dispute over BBBEE stance?

On Friday the Constitutional Court dismissed trade union Solidarity’s urgent application for direct access to the court saying it was not in the best interest of justice to hear it at this stage.

The tourism minister said in a statement that the decision of the Constitutional Court is consistent with their view that Solidarity’s case lacks legal merit and moral standing. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Tourism Minister Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has welcomed the Constitutional court’s dismissal of a challenge brought against her department’s criteria for COVID-19 relief.

On Friday the Constitutional Court dismissed trade union Solidarity’s urgent application for direct access to the court saying it was not in the best interest of justice to hear it at this stage.

Solidarity wanted the court to hear its case which sought to declare as unconstitutional – the tourism department’s COVID-19 directive, which sets out that BBBEE will be a consideration when providing financial relief to small businesses.

The apex court has however concluded that there was insufficient grounds raised for a direct appeal to the court on an urgent basis.

This may however not be the end of the dispute with Solidarity still having the option to ventilate the matter in court.

The tourism minister said in a statement that the decision of the Constitutional Court is consistent with their view that Solidarity’s case lacks legal merit and moral standing.

She further called on Solidarity and Afriforum to give the department the space to focus on the provision of relief to distressed beneficiaries to help the sector recover.

Ministry spokesperson Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota said, “We have always maintained that the design of our programmes are guided by the principles of equity and justice.”

Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 with borders and inter-provincial travel halted as part of the national lockdown measures.