DA exposes Govt’s BBBEE criteria for small business funding

Please find attached a recording of the Minister Ntshavheni can be accessed here.

The Minister for Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni dropped a bomb in Parliament yesterday when she confirming that BBBEE was an evaluating criteria for applications to Government’s SMME Debt Relief Fund.

The Minister made her admission during a joint meeting of the Portfolio and Select Committees for Small Business Development on Tuesday after I had asked her to clear up the confusion and to clarify, once and for all whether or not BBBEE criteria were used in determining relief measures for small businesses in South Africa.

Ntshavheni aggressively specified that ‘BBBEE is a fundamental requirement for transforming the economy of this country. We cannot choose as and when we use it’. The Minister then went on to explain that all applications to the SMME Debt Relief Fund were evaluated using BBBEE principles.

This admission is at odds with previous utterances by the same Minister. When the first lockdown was announced, a leaked document clearly indicated that BBBEE criteria would be used to determine the beneficiaries of relief. The DA immediately intervened and the government moved swiftly to assure South Africa that all applications would be treated on an equal basis, regardless of the race of the applicant.

The public utterances by the Minister yesterday show that the ANC smoke and mirrors department is in full swing and that businesses affected by the Covid- 19 lockdown cannot rely on Government for fair and equal treatment.

It is morally bankrupt that the ANC Government would seek to discriminate and exclude any individual from accessing relief during a crisis period. The global pandemic calls for all of us as South Africans to work together and not for Government to discriminate against certain South Africans based on race.

The DA will continue to hold the Government to account during this pandemic and ensure that they work for and serve all South Africans, regardless of race.

The DA Leader, John Steenhuisen, will soon announce the action that the DA will take in this regard.