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SA Parliament: Small business development committee chairperson welcomes court ruling

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Cape Town, Parliament, 24 June 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Small Business Development, Ms Violet Siwela, has welcomed the Gauteng North High Court ruling dismissing the application to stop government from using Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status, race, gender, age or disability in determining who will receive Covid-19 aid.

Ms Siwela believes that the ruling is a victory for all the historically disadvantaged. She also felt that the judgement exonerated her long-held view that Covid-19 pandemic, having being declared a state of national disaster, did not mean that existing legislation should be suspended.
Additionally, Ms Siwela further noted a ruling directly related to the Department of Small Business Development, in which the court ordered the department to redraft criteria by which people are chosen to receive assistance under the Debt Finance Scheme and Business Growth Resilience Fund. Ms Siwela urged the department to fully comply and accelerate the process of redrafting the criteria in line with the injunctions of the court.
“Although we are of the view that the criteria should favour women, youth and people with disabilities, we are also not saying that men and white-owned businesses should not be considered. We are simply highlighting the issue of priority,” Ms Siwela said.

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