Flash Briefing: SA Court finds black ownership target and race-based Tourism Fund unconstitutional; Judge Hlophe’s stalling tactic rejected

  • South Africa’s High Court struck down some changes to mining regulations that govern Black ownership targets, in a move that could potentially revive investor interest in the sector. In 2018, Mines Minister Gwede Mantashe adjusted the rules to stipulate that an ownership target of 26% for Black investors in South African mining companies would remain in perpetuity, so miners that had previously met the threshold would need to find new Black shareholders if the original ones exited their holdings. The High Court of South Africa on Tuesday set aside that provision and other changes to the charter, backing a challenge by an industry lobby group that represents producers. The challenged clauses of the 2018 Charter are unconstitutional as the minister doesn’t have the power to make law, according to a ruling by the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria.
  • South Africa’s appeals court ruled the Department of Tourism’s focus on only Black businesses for payouts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic is unlawful. The Bloemfontein-based court said the minister of tourism committed an error and is not legally obliged to allocate funds based on Black economic empowerment requirements. Labor union Solidarity and civil-rights group AfriForum earlier successfully applied for a freeze on the Tourism Equity Fund because it only focused on Black businesses.
  • The application by the attorney of Western Cape judge president John Hlophe to have a judge from a division other than that of Gauteng hear his application to have the decision by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to impeach him set aside, was rejected on Wednesday by deputy judge president of the Gauteng division Roland Sutherland. The presidency has informed the court that it has not received an application from the JSC for Hlophe’s suspension and the JSC has indicated that it will not submit one pending the outcome of the case.
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