The High Court in Pretoria has ordered the Small Business Development Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, to redraft the criteria used to determine which businesses get coronavirus relief funds so that they include race.

The full bench says the Minister must also include gender, youth and disability in the criteria.

The High Court ruled that the BBBEE criteria used by the Minister, as it currently stands, is too vague and therefore unlawful.

The court has dismissed the DA’s bid against the use of BBBEE criteria in determining which businesses get assistance. Despite the ruling, however, South Africa’s official opposition says it welcomes the decision since it will assist in providing clarity on the selection criteria.

The DA has been pushing for the Minister to provide clarity on the criteria used for beneficiaries of the SMME Debt Relief Fund.

It has been advocating for all applicants to be treated equally, regardless of their race.

The party says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major blow to all South Africans.

A charge supported by the Freedom Front Plus, which in May launched a “Stop BEE” fund campaign.

“The project entails, among other things, a fund that offers financial support to small business enterprises that cannot qualify for government aid due to BEE requirements. Another aspect of the project is an initiative launched by the FF Plus Youth, which focuses specifically on the current injustices brought about by BEE. Hundreds of videos from the owners of small business enterprises from across the country that outline their need and dire circumstances have been received,” says the group.

The party believes that assistance money should be channelled to people who are really needy and skin colour should not be a determinant as the country navigates the coronavirus lockdown.