Minister Kubayi-Ngubane (Business Day 17 April) has seen fit to personally attack those opposed to her decision to use the B-BBEE framework as a basis for allocating the Department’s relief funds.
“.…the department of tourism decided to provide once-off grant assistance to SMMEs in the tourism value chain to ensure their sustainability. The grant is capped at R50,000 per entity.“
She goes on to say “Necessarily and correctly, the department has decided to administer the relief fund in accordance with the Tourism Broad-Based BEE (B-BBEE) Code of Good Practice approved by the trade and industry minister in 2015. This in line with the objectives of economic transformation, and the vision to ensure SA has a sustainable and inclusive tourism development.”
Her rant raises three important issues for me:
- Nowhere in any of President Ramaphosa’s announcements relating to the pandamic did he indicate that only those enterprises who qualify on the basis of their BEE ratings, would receive relief funds. He knows that many businesses are not BEE compliant because registration is voluntary, although many also have employees. Employees who are now unemployed and sitting at home. No other state department tried to apply the BEE rules. However, the Tourism Department did.
- The good Minister then totally confuses the provisions of the B-BBEE Act dealing with “… the awarding of incentives, grants and investment schemes in support of B-BBEE” with that of granting relief to the small, medium and micro-sized enterprises suffering from the lockdown. If her officials dreamt up this interpretation of the Act to assist her, they should all be fired.
- True to form for most of the ANC, she immediately pulls out the race card, by stating”… Evidently, the DA and its surrogates have decided to deliberately conflate non-compliance with the B-BBEE Act and exclusion on the basis of race.” Indeed. Any reasonable reader can see that their objections have nothing to do with BEE. It has everything to do with providing blanket relief to workers suffering from the pandenic. Regrettably she is unable to comprehend this.
She is not fit to hold down the important position of a Minister in the President’s cabinet.
It will be interesting to see if the President overrules and removes her.