Afriforum’s senior counsel Greta Engelbrecht has argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein that the Minister of Tourism failed to use the relevant criteria for tourism relief funding under the Disaster Management Act.
Engelbrecht says the Minister was not lawfully entitled to use the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) criteria as the only way for applying for emergency funds in the tourism factor.
Engelbrecht says, “This was not the exercise by her of a ministerial discretion of executive decision making. This was the application by the Tourism Department of principles that it sought applied in the circumstances of relief funding. And we say on that basis, this matter falls to be reviewed under PAIA and the sub sections including the fact that the minister made a mistake in law by relying on section 10 of the B-BBEE Act.”
Businesses in the tourism sector
Small to medium entrepreneurs in the tourism sector in Mpumalanga are crying foul after not being able to access government’s COVID-19 relief fund.
The entrepreneurs have been seriously affected by the lockdown regulations.
Tour guide operators and those doing craft around Hazyview and the Kruger National Park claim that they have not received the promised funds from government.
Last year, the national government allocated about R11 million to the province to assist such businesses. This year, the provincial government set aside R10 million to further assist businesses as COVID-19 continues to affect their operations.
The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) says out of the 700 applications received by the province about 560 of them were approved after assessment. MTPA’s CEO Boy Nobunga says 500 of them have been paid the relief funds.
VIDEO: Last month, analysts raised questions about where government will get money to fund economic relief measures:
Additional reporting by Eric Lubisi.