Today's Labour News

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SolidarityBL Premium reports that trade union Solidarity and lobby group AfriForum argued in the Pretoria High Court on Friday that the R1.2bn Tourism Equity Fund was unlawful because tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane established it without the go-ahead from her trade, industry & competition counterpart, Ebrahim Patel, as required by law.

The fund was unlawful in terms of the tourism sector code and the Broad-Based BEE Act as well as the constitution because it constituted unfair discrimination, the organisations also claimed. They objected to the fund on the grounds that the criteria used to allocate funds was racially based because only businesses with 51% black ownership could apply. Counsel for Solidarity and AfriForum pointed out that the two organisations were not challenging the need for BEE, but contended that it should be done in accordance with the legislative framework. They sought an urgent interdict to stop the ministry from disbursing the funds. Counsel for the state, Azhar Bham SC, said the fund was set up to help black businesses progress in what remained an untransformed industry. It had been in the making for about four years and has nothing to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. Bham stated that the eligibility criteria were “not an outright exclusion of white individuals participating in the fund. The criteria is that a business must be at least 51% black-owned. It follows that a business that has a substantial white ownership of up to 49% is still eligible to apply.” Judgment on the urgent application for an interim interdict pending a judicial review was reserved.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Linda Ensor at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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