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DA asks IMF to tell SA government to drop BEE for Covid-19 relief


The party says since most relief funds come from an IMF loan, the body should instruct the government to stop using the money to promote black economic empowerment.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has said that he has written a petition to the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, imploring the international body to “censure” the South African government and instruct it to stop using IMF monies in a way that make distinctions along racial lines, and allegedly exacerbate racial tension in the country.

The Democratic Alliance's interim leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: Veli Nhlapo

Steenhuisen said the government’s decision to use Covid-19 relief funding to support B-BBEE compliant companies, at a time of national economic crisis, was unconscionable.

“The virus does not discriminate on the basis of race, and it is indefensible that government should do so when deciding who is deserving of their help and who is not,” Steenhuisen said in a statement on Thursday.

Steenhuisen said he had approached the IMF because a “majority” of the Covid-19 relief funds came from a loan obtained from the international body.

The DA leader said the race of a business owner had no bearing on the race of those they employed and that white-owned businesses employed black people “who in turn support families”.

“By deliberately denying these businesses critical government relief, it is not just the owner of the business, but indeed these families, who will suffer should the business fail.

“I have no doubt that the IMF had no intention of fuelling racial discord in South Africa. I trust that the IMF will not hesitate in directing the South African government to not use its loan financing in a way that furthers racial discrimination.

“Indeed, IMF funding has been used the world over for building, developing and taking nations forward, including all people in those countries. That should be its use and purpose. However, the ANC government has chosen to turn this loan funding into a racially divisive tool.”

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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