SCA: Kubayi move to use BEE requirements for COVID relief fund unlawful

In April last year, government announced relief of R200 million for once-off payments to businesses affected by closure due to the lockdown. However, the minister then said that not everyone qualified under BBBEE requirements.

FILE: Former Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has ruled that the tourism minister was incorrect to rule that tourism businesses meet broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) requirements if they were to qualify for government's COVID-19 relief fund.

In April last year, government announced relief of R200 million for once-off payments to businesses affected by closure due to the lockdown.

However, the minister then said that not everyone qualified under BBBEE requirements.

The Solidarity Trade union and lobby group AfriForum turned, separately, to the High Court in Pretoria, saying that the decision had been based on race.

However, they both lost their cases and were denied leave to appeal.

They then turned directly to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which granted them leave and has now ruled in their favour.

The court has found that the move to help the tourism industry was sourced from the Disaster Management Act and not the BBBEE Act.

It found therefore that then-Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi had argued that she had no choice but the court found that she was incorrect and the decision was unlawful.

However, the funds have been dispersed.

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