The party’s interim leader argued against the application of BBBE codes and the prioritization of disenfranchised minorities, calling it ‘unconscionable, racialized and most likely illegal too’.
Following up on their accusations against certain government ministers for racialising COVID-19 relief funding, the DA met with its lawyers on Wednesday in pursuit of legal advice on the legality and constitutionality of the application of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes and the prioritization of female-led enterprises in the distribution of the funds.
According to a statement issued by the party’s interim leader John Steenhuisen, the department of tourism and the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries announced in respective emails that B-BBEE codes would guide the allocation of emergency relief for businesses affected by Covid-19 and that “only black, coloured and Indian farmers” are encouraged to apply for assistance.
“It is not only unconscionable that critical financial relief in this time of distress for thousands of businesses and commercial entities is racialised, it is most likely illegal too,” said Steenhusien.
The official opposition vowed that it would not allow the ANC to use this crisis to further divide the nation.
“We will use every avenue available to us to fight for the right of all South Africans, black and white, to benefit from emergency assistance,” promised the DA.
“We will only overcome the virus and begin charting our country’s recovery if we are truly united as a nation. These measures by the tourism and agriculture departments will only create division at a time when we should be fostering a spirit of togetherness.”
The party further claims that the ANC’s “shambolic handling of this matter” has undone much of the goodwill that existed in the nation around standing united in this challenge.
“When it was first revealed, via a leaked document, that race would be a deciding criteria for financial assistance, government quickly denied this and tried to backtrack from the leaked document. This was at a time when they were fundraising for this relief fund. South Africans were assured that government’s emergency financial help through this fund would be for all.
“But less than two weeks later – and with the relief fund now several billion Rand strong – it has become clear that this was never the case, and that race and B-BBEE codes were always going to be used to determine who government would help and who it wouldn’t. This makes a mockery of the president’s televised pleas for South Africans to unite in fighting this common enemy.”
The reality is that the skin colour of an employer does not determine the true victims of this crisis. Most of these businesses and farms, which will be excluded from government assistance on the basis of race, employ an overwhelming majority of black employees. It is these people who will lose their jobs and their ability to look after their families if government pursues the race-based relief effort.
Over the past two weeks, the DA has been inundated with pleas for help from business owners who say they have been shut out from applying for assistance by race requirements. Some of them have already had to close their doors, and for many more, this is now imminent. All their employees, black and white, will soon be unemployed if they cannot access emergency financial relief.
The DA says it will not stand by and let this happen and that while it explores its legal options in this matter, it also calls on President Ramaphosa to do the right thing – to reverse the decision to racialise these relief measures and to instruct his cabinet ministers to assist each and every South African who needs help in this time.
In other news – Isibaya actress Asavela Mngqithi shows off juicy legs in shorts – Pictures
Miss Mngqithi has surely made a lot of people breathe through their wounds with such breathtaking posts that have gotten our eyes excited and for a minute we had forgotten we are under quarantine. With today marking day 13 into the lockdown, her pictures have instilled faith in us that no matter what, we will get through this difficult time.
Source: The Citizen