The Pretoria High Court rejected the DA’s application for urgent intervention on the criteria of black economic empowerment, race, gender, age and disability when deciding who qualifies for the government’s Covid 19 aid packages.
A full bench of judges chaired by Gauteng judge Dunstan Mlambo did set aside the department’s criteria because it was too vague.
This order does not affect money that has already been paid out.
The judges instructed Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Small Business, to re-establish the criteria.
The court also ordered Ntshavheni to include race, gender, youth and disability – which the DA is opposed to.
The court rejected the DA’s defense that the government’s decision to use transformation criteria, when deciding who to help, is illegal.
The court said in its ruling that the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa highlighted the damage in communities caused by flagrant discrimination.
Adv. Steven Budlender SC, for the DA, argued there was no reason to use race as a benchmark.
However, Ntshavheni replied in an affidavit that race, gender, age and disability are recognized as indicators of past and present disadvantage.