KZN Cabinet to ask national government to appeal recent BBE ruling, Newsline

Durban – The KZN cabinet has expressed concern at the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal which overturned the requirement of BEE compliance for companies bidding for tenders in public entities.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the KZN cabinet led by Premier Sihle Zikalala said there must be a full review of the procurement legislative framework following the ruling.

Cabinet argued that would make BEE and radical economic transformation irreversible transformative policies of the government.

The ruling comes after business lobby group Afribusiness appealed at the SCA against the North Gauteng High Court ruling which dismissed its attempts to have the 2017 preferential procurement regulations promulgated by Treasury declared invalid.

The court found that the discretionary pre-qualification criteria in the procurement regulation was a deviation from the section 217 of the Constitution which mandated organs of state use a system that is fair, equitable, transparent and competitive and contracting for goods and services.

In response to the ruling, the KZN cabinet said it was still analysing the judgment and its overall implications to economic transformation in the country.

However, it said while it noted that the invalidity is currently suspended for 12 months, it had to register its concern.

“The provincial executive council considers this decision as being tantamount to the reversal of the transformation process.

“The provincial executive council will engage the national government on this decision. We also encourage the national government to appeal against this judgment.

“It is important that transformative policies are clear and cannot be second guessed,” it said in the statement.

The Zikalala-led cabinet also announced that since November 16 this year would mark the historic day the indentured labourers from India in 1860 landed in KwaZulu-Nata, they would join the country in commemorating the day.

The cabinet said a series of events are being lined up.

“The provincial executive council noted that the diversity of our province and indeed the country is enriched by the community of people of Indian origin.

“The provincial government therefore invites various organs of civil society in commemorating this significant anniversary.

“The provincial executive council salutes and celebrate all the hardworking people who have contributed to the tapestry of our province, including social cohesion, and also for contributing positively to the economy.

“The provincial executive council led by Premier Sihle Zikalala will partake in a number of activities to mark this historic arrival. This programme will provide an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the Indian community in the fields of labour, business, science, sports, religion, arts, culture and the achievement and consolidation of our democracy. As part of the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration programme, we will unveil a series of other programmes which will help bring together the various strands of our nation and to foster one united prosperous, non-racial and non-sexist KwaZulu Natal,” the cabinet said.

Political Bureau