The Constitutional Court has dismissed the urgent application by Solidarity and Afriforum to directly appeal the High Court decision to uphold the tourism department’s stance to have Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) as a requirement when allocating funds to businesses from the tourism COVID-19 relief fund.
In the order, the court states that it’s not in the interest of justice the hear the application urgently.
“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for leave to appeal directly to the court on an urgent basis. It has concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interest of justice to hear the application at this stage as there are insufficient grounds raised for direct appeal to court on an urgent basis.”
Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane welcomed the ruling by the concourt – and urged Afriforum and Solidarity to allow the department to continue with its work.
In a statement the minister says that over 13,000 applications have been received – and that the processing of payments have already started to both black and white business owners.
Solidarity and AfriForum had argued in the High Court that the disaster management regulations confine the minister’s power to give directions to matters relating to COVID-19 and do not include empowerment goals.
At the time, Kubayi-Ngubane said: “We do believe that in what we do, the law has not been suspended. We do believe that many those who are previously disadvantaged continue to suffer.”
She said the efforts made to transform the industry may be lost after the lockdown.