On 28 April Solidarity will put its case before the Northern Gauteng High Court against the Department of Small Business Development and the Department of Tourism over black economic empowerment (BEE) as a prerequisite for receiving emergency funding. This comes after Solidarity today received a notice in which the departments in question indicated that they would oppose the urgent application brought by Solidarity on 30 March.
“It is clear that government refuses to do away with its racial ideology, even in a time of need,” Anton van der Bijl, head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity said. “We will not allow such discrimination.”
Solidarity is firmly opposed against race as a criterion to measure needs and to grant emergency funding, and we insist that government provide clarity on the criteria that are being used to determine the allocation of such funds.
“It is in the best interests of all South Africans that qualification for these funds should not be determined by race. This unilateral decision by the government needs to be reviewed, and that is also what we are asking for in the court documents,” Van der Bijl argues.
The application includes an interdict to stop the payment of any funds while the case is pending. The purpose of this is to ensure that no money may be paid out as long as the qualifying criteria is based on race.
“All South Africans must be awarded an equal and fair opportunity to qualify for the emergency funds made available by the government. Although the government thinks the Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect opportunity to apply racial discrimination, that is not the case,” Van der Bijl concluded.