While tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane insists that using the broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) codes to allocate relief funding for the Covid-19 pandemic is a legal requirement, I would contend that the opposite is true.
The constitution prohibits unfair discrimination, and while discrimination to rectify previous discriminatory practices is allowed, the Covid-19 pandemic is a natural disaster and did not arise as a result of previous discriminatory laws.
The relief measures being put in place are to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s response to it.
As the situation which requires these measures did not arise due to previous discriminatory laws and affects all citizens regardless of race or gender, the application of the BEE codes to the allocation of relief measures would result in unfair discrimination, which makes their use in this situation illegal.
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