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An international spat is brewing over the country's black economic empowerment laws as Swiss-owned baggage handler Swissport takes on the state-owned Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) over black shareholding requirements for a ground-handling tender. Swissport CEO Peter Kohl, in an affidavit filed with the South Gauteng High Court last month, requested that the court review, correct or set aside Acsa's invitation for contractor proposals for licences to provide ground-handling services at the company's airports, which include OR Tambo and Cape Town international airports. Swissport, which has been providing ground-handling services at six of SA's airports since 1998, has accused the airports company of employing an "unlawful" procurement process because it did not structure the invitation in accordance with the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and the constitution. Kohl said a black ownership clause in the invitation was one of the main issues Swissport had with the ...

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