The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria today reserved judgement in AfriForum and Solidarity’s urgent review application against the Department of Tourism’s use of race as a benchmark for the awarding of relief to tourism enterprises. Judge Jody Kollapen has undertaken to give judgement in this case before the end of the week.
AfriForum’s legal team today amongst others argued during the hearing that the expressed aim of the Department’s fund is to offer assistance to tourism enterprises that are being adversely affected by COVID-19. Seeing as everyone, notwithstanding their race, is being adversely affected by COVID-19, the Department cannot use Section 9(2) of the Constitution, which justifies correction of discrimination from the past, as justification for discriminating assistance against the consequences of COVID-19.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, believes AfriForum and Solidarity made a strong case today. “AfriForum however feels so strongly about this matter that, should it be necessary, we are prepared to fight to the end in the highest court.”
Kriel indicated that it is unethical that government is all too happy to exact taxes from minorities and then to, without hesitation, discriminate against these same minorities when taxpayers’ money is being used. “It is also shocking that the government, even in a time when everyone in the country is supposed to stand together against the mutual enemy – COVID-19, has decided to use the provision of relief to struggling enterprises to further its racial agenda.”
On 7 April 2020 AfriForum placed Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the Minister of Tourism, as well as the Department on terms regarding BEE and other requirements. According to Kriel neither the Minister nor the Department reacted to AfriForum’s letter and as such AfriForum now has no other choice but to approach the courts.
AfriForum encourages all tourism enterprises to still apply for relief at www.tourism.gov.za/Pages/COVID19TOURISMRELIEFFUND.aspx. You can SMS the name of your enterprise to 45113 (R1) to provide AfriForum with your enterprise’s details so that we can implement legal action on your behalf should your application be rejected based on BEE requirements. You can also send an email with your enterprise’s details to email@example.com.
- Watch the court case here.