Distressed firms in the tourism sector that are waiting for state assistance were dealt a heavy blow on Tuesday when the high court in Pretoria interdicted the government from processing applications and making any payments from a R1.2bn fund because it makes race a qualification requirement.

Lobby groups Solidarity and AfriForum approached the court arguing that the Tourism Equity Fund, set up in January, is discriminatory because it targets majority black-owned businesses, disqualifying companies, many of which are small players without a large investor base, from accessing funding to help deal with the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak...

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