Today's Labour News

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SolidarityBL Premium reports that the High Court in Pretoria has interdicted the government from processing applications and making any payments from its R1.2bn Tourism Equity Fund, established to bail out companies in distress in the sector.

In a two-part application heard in the court on 15 April, trade union Solidarity and lobby group AfriForum applied for an urgent interdict on the basis that help was only being given to black entrepreneurs whereas all businesses have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. Acting judge J Holland-Muter granted the interdict saying his reasons for doing so would follow. The second part of the lobby groups’ application has still to be heard. The fund was established by the Department of Tourism in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) to provide a combination of debt finance and grant funding to facilitate equity acquisition, as well as new project development, in the tourism sector by black entrepreneurs. The threshold is a 51% black ownership. Among the grounds for the court challenge were that there were procedural shortcomings in the fund’s establishment and that in focusing solely on 51% black ownership as a criteria to qualify for the finance, the fund violated the government’s own B-BBEE policy and sector codes. These include five other criteria besides equity ownership, namely employment equity, preferential procurement, skills development, enterprise development and socioeconomic development.

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

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