The DA welcomes this morning's announcement by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, that his Department has issued a shareholder instruction to all agencies reporting to it in response to the R34.1 million loan extended by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to Ndalo Luxury Ventures (NLV), the company trading as Luminance.
Minister Davies made the announcement following a briefing by the NEF Chief Executive Officer, Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa, to Parliament's portfolio committee on Trade and Industry.
In terms of the DTI's shareholder instruction all its agencies are directed to, with immediate effect, ensure that all transactions comply with a number of requirements aimed at ensuring that government funding is directed towards stimulating local job creating production activities.
This is a clear public display of disapproval by the Minister of the NEF's transaction with Luminance owned by the wealthy Ms Khanyi Dhlomo.
Following news of the Luminance transaction the DA had called on Minister Davies to launch a full Ministerial Review of the NEF's investment mandate, aimed at ensuring that the NEF commit itself to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) initiatives that stimulate economic growth by providing support to small business owners to help them start up, grow and create jobs in the sectors where our economic growth prospects rely on the success of first-time business owners and Small Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs).
These types of measures are precisely what the DA has called for in our Plan for Growth and Jobs.
While we welcome this latest move by the Minister, we maintain that any decision to recapitalise the NEF should be brought to Parliament for debate.
Before providing the NEF with any further funding, we must introduce measures that will ensure that the fund's future investments will benefit broad-based empowerment initiatives that create jobs.
The DA will oppose any recapitalisation proposals that give the NEF another blank cheque.
Wilmot James, Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry