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The process of industrialisation must be underpinned by transformation. Through measures like preferential procurement and the black industrialists programme, we are developing a new generation of black and women producers that are able to build enterprises of signifi cant scale and capability. We will improve our capacity to support black professionals, deal decisively with companies that resist transformation, use competition policy to open markets up to new black entrants, and invest in the development of businesses in townships and rural areas. Radical economic transformation requires that we fundamentally improve the position of black women and communities in the economy, ensuring that they are owners, managers, producers and financiers.”

State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, 16 February 2018

The NEF’s role is to support Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BB-BEE).

As the debate concerning what constitutes meaningful and sustainable BB-BEE evolves, the NEF anticipates future funding and investment requirements to help black individuals, communities and businesses achieve each element of the Codes of Good Practice. These include a focus on preferential procurement, broadening the reach of black equity ownership, transformation in management and staff and preventing the dilution of black shareholding.

The NEF differentiates itself not only with a focused mandate for BB-BEE, but by also assuming a predominantly equity-based risk to maximise the Empowerment Dividend. Reward should balance the risk with the application of sound commercial decisions to support national priorities and government policy such as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) or targeted investments through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti’s) Industrial Policy Framework (IPF).

The work of the NEF therefore straddles and complements other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) by allowing the organisations to work in close collaboration in the promotion of BB-BEE. With them, the NEF can enhance other DFIs and their mandates by sharing its specialist sector expertise and knowledge of BB-BEE.

Legislative mandate

Established by the National Empowerment Fund Act No 105 of 1998 (NEF Act), the National Empowerment Fund (the NEF) is a driver and thought-leader in promoting and facilitating black economic participation by providing financial and non-financial support to black empowered businesses, and by promoting a culture of savings and investment among black people. The operations of the NEF are governed by the Public Finance Management Act No 1 of 1991 (PFMA), including the National Treasury Regulations, the King III Report on Governance for South Africa and the Protocol on Corporate Governance in the Public Sector, 2002.

Values

The NEF implements its mandate in three ways:

1. Asset Management

By structuring accessible retail savings products for black people through its Asset Management Division, which is a custodian of certain equity allocations in State-Allocated Investments (SAIs), the NEF aims to foster a culture of savings and investment among its beneficiaries.

2. Fund Management

Fund Management, as a facilitator of the Codes of Good Practice of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (the Codes), supports the pillars of black enterprise by providing financial and non-financial solutions across a range of sectors to black empowered businesses, for start-up, expansion and equity transformation purposes.

3. Strategic Projects Fund

As a leader in venture capital finance which allows entrepreneurs to participate in projects that are at an early stage within sectors identified by the RSA government as key drivers to the economic growth of South Africa. The fund also provides project finance and private equity in these projects once they are regarded as bankable.

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