DSBD now also taken to court over race – AfriForum

Organisation says situation is being worsened by Minister’s deliberate misrepresentations

AfriForum now also taking the Department of Small Business Development to court over race

29 April 2020 

AfriForum today instructed its legal team to also bring an urgent application for review, similar to AfriForum and Solidarity’s case against the Department of Tourism, against the Minister and Department of Small Business Development over the use of BEE racial requirements in the provision of relief to enterprises that apply to government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AfriForum’s intended legal action follows Minister KhumbudzoNtshavheni yesterday stating in a parliamentary meeting that BEE requirements would indeed be applicable when applications for relief are considered.

Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, has accused Ntshavheni of being dishonest by on 24 March making AfriForum’s statement out to be fake news that her Department would be using racial criteria in the provision of relief and now, just more than a month later, proudly announcing that racial criteria would indeed play a role. “As if it is not unethical enough that government is even in this time of crisis promoting a racial agenda, the situation is being worsened by the Minister’s deliberate misrepresentations.”

The Minister’s dishonesty is, according to Kriel, being exacerbated by her Department even being willing to, in court papers that were signed under oath, undertake to Solidarity that they would not continue with the use of racial criteria when relief is provided to enterprises.

According to Kriel, the Minister’s lies may have delayed AfriForum’s legal action against her Department, but she will not be able to avoid it. “AfriForum will take this matter to the highest court to ensure that justice is done.”

AfriForum encourages all SMMEs that do not comply to this criterium to contact the civil rights organisation to fight this on their behalf. AfriForum also recommends that businesses register on www.smmesa.gov.za. SMS your business’s name to 45113 (R1) to supply your business’ details to AfriForum. More information about this campaign will soon be made available by AfriForum on its social media platforms.

Issued by Carina Bester, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 29 April 2020