The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the rejection by Government of the absurd proposal by the Department of Small Business Development to link SMME-funding during the national lockdown to race-based ownership.
This issue has caused mass panic in the business community across South Africa due to a leaked document from the department.
This is why the DA wrote to Minister Patel on 20 March 2019 to encourage him to put a moratorium on BEE requirements linked to funding and incentives because it would effectively miss 93% of all businesses who are BEE exempt and do not require black ownership.
The DA is absolutely clear that funding must go to businesses who need it and who will keep people employed, regardless of the race, sex or geographical location of the business. The stakes are too high to be playing ‘battleships’ political ideology when so many jobs depend on quick and easy access to funding.
The DA also believes that the website to the funding application must be urgently taken down as it contains questions around race and sex which are not relevant to the funding application and only serve to sow distrust and confusion.
It is quite clear that as we move closer to the national lockdown, government’s communication needs to step up a gear and dismiss fake news as it spreads but equally needs to rein in rogue officials who are putting mad suggestions like this forward in the first instance.