Wednesday | 25 March | 2020
Solidarity lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and is preparing for urgent litigation against government’s plans to make crisis funding for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) subject to black economic empowerment (BEE).
This comes after it was put unequivocally at a press conference that the assistance from the Department of Small Business Development will only be made available in a “demographically representative” manner and the Department of Tourism has released a document indicating that at least 70% of the funds would go exclusively to black controlled companies.
While the rest of us are indeed bracing for a time of crisis and unprecedented hardship, government sees it as a golden opportunity to enforce its offensive race ideology. This is appalling.
It is one thing to say that BEE is a prerequisite for government contracts, but it is something totally different when the president has declared that no one is allowed to do business and then refuses to protect certain businesses amid such a drastic step.
If there has ever been any doubt about our government’s priorities, then this position has eliminated any such uncertainty. What it comes down to in effect, is that government has made it illegal for white people to own a smaller business. Government orders everyone to close their doors, but then only funds those who comply with their race prerequisites.
Amid this crisis, Solidarity has prepared itself to comprehensively assist people with knowledge and support against the effects of COVID-19, yet this does not mean that we have taken our eye off the government’s harmful obsession with race. After all, they say that crises do not change who you are, they only bring out your true colours. We now know exactly what the priority for government is, even when people’s lives and livelihoods are being threatened.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.