Tourism BEE Covid-19 support to be challenged in court

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Tourism BEE Covid-19 support to be challenged in court

Solidarity and AfriForum will challenge the tourism minister’s decision to provide support based on broad-based BEE codes.

Author: Bekezela Phakathi

Trade union Solidarity and lobby group AfriForum are forging ahead with a legal challenge against tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s decision to provide support to distressed firms and establishments in the sector based on broad-based BEE codes, among other considerations. Kubayi-Ngubane raised the ire of some in the sector who argued that the BEE considerations would disqualify many companies from accessing government funding to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has hit the travel and tourism sector hard, with the latest figures from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global industry association, showing that the sector is losing a million jobs a day across the globe.

The case will be heard by the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday. According to Solidarity, it is “tragic that SA, in the midst of a crisis, is still divided based on race”.  “This pandemic is not a crisis that only affects certain people — the whole SA is in this crisis. The tourism sector is severely affected, yet the department of tourism will, other than the virus, look at your race and discriminate against you based on the colour of your skin,” said Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann. “It is the colour of your skin, and thus not your needs, that are the determining factor for help.” Solidarity said the purpose of BEE is to correct the disadvantages of the past. The Tourism Relief Fund should not be about those who were previously disadvantaged, but about survival, it said.  

Meanwhile, the travel and tourism sector globally face a staggering 100-million job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The WTTC figures on job losses have shown an increase of more than 30% in the past four weeks, indicating the crisis the sector faces. There are about 320-million people employed in the sector. In Africa alone, 7.6-million job losses are projected, while total GDP loss could be close to $53bn.

In SA, the sector contributed 7% to the country’s GDP (R355bn, down from R426bn in 2018). The sector is responsible for 1.5-million jobs, or 9.2% of total employment in SA.

Read the Full Article Here

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2020-04-27-tourism-bee-covid-19-support-to-be-challenged-in-court/

Source:

Author: Bekezela Phakathi

phakathib@businesslive.co.za

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

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