Businesses that do not comply with BEE requirements can still qualify for state aid.
Therefore, these businesses must still apply for it, and owners should not be discouraged by the news that only black businesses are being helped.
That’s how Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said at a meeting of the department’s portfolio committee on Thursday.
Although the department has already paid out almost all of the R200m tourism aid fund to some 3,800 businesses, Greg Krumbrock, DA MP, wanted to know about future tourism assistance.
“What advice would you give workers applying to businesses? Do they have to look at the race of their employer because some will get help and others will not? Many will lose their jobs because their employers are the wrong color, ”Krumbrock said.
Kubayi-Ngubane responded by saying officials should stop spreading misinformation because it could eventually discourage “white businesses” from applying and thus taking advantage.
Although the department does use race as a benchmark in terms of BEE law, the Pretoria High Court ruled in May that it did not amount to discrimination.
Judge Jody Kollapen said in his ruling that although BEE companies are slightly favored by the criteria for aid, white companies can make marks by the other criteria and still qualify for aid.“
The minister also said it was difficult to plan for the reopening of the tourism sector due to uncertainty about how the coronavirus will spread further.
“The situation changes from week to week. One week goes like this and the next week the opposite happens. However, we know that the pandemic has a massive impact on the industry, which is why we fought for its reopening, ”she says.
According to her, her department will only focus on local tourism, and later marketing for international tourism will resume in earnest.
Her department will soon be publishing a preliminary plan on the road ahead, though many may change.