TO: PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA HOUSES
FROM: KGANKI MATABANE
DATE: 01 May 2020
SUBJECT: BBC MEDIA STATEMENT SOLIDARITY AND AFRIFORUM BID AGAINST BBBEE FOR COVID-19 TOURISM RELIEF
The Black Business Council (BBC) welcomes the Judgment handed down by the Pretoria High Court (High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division Pretoria) on the matter brought by Solidarity and AfriForum against the Minister of Tourism. The court ruled that using Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) codes as a criterion for assisting companies in the sector is not unlawful.
We applaud the High Court for appreciating the simple truth that South Africa is a deeply unequal society, blighted by poverty and race-based inequalities. The court further states that a “race neutral approach can have the effect of deepening the fault lines in our society”.
The BBC is fully aware of and acknowledges that the country is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. We also note that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and other laws are not suspended during this period. As such, BBBEE remains law and in place and as such, should not be undermined in haste.
The policy of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment should be understood as a necessary mechanism, to achieve a more just and equitable society. When applied correctly, as is in this case, BBBEE does not confer unfair advantage for some candidates over others based on race. Conversely it does not have the effect of excluding white applicants.
Lastly, we are disappointed by media reports that the Afriforum and Solidarity, intend approaching the Constitutional Court to challenge the Judgment. In the event they pursue this course of action, the BBC intends to join proceedings as a friend of the court. We are of the opinion that this is a moment of reflection and not antagonism.
With sound and strong stewardship of society, we strongly believe that South Africa can emerge from this crises, a more just and equitable society with a more human face.
The BBC is fully behind the Minister of Tourism, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in her efforts to transform the tourism sector.