BEE: sober reflection, FREE STATE TIMES
As I see it THE controversy over the decision by the National Empowerment Fund to fund Ndalo Luxury Ventures' luxury store Luminance, owned by Khanyi Dhlomo, to the tune of more than R34 million has once again cast the spotlight on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and the role that this democratic South Africa's flagship socio-economic policy should and can play in addressing the systemic economic challenges that define and scar modern-day South Africa. The transaction was criticised by many as serving the interests of superrich elites if not a close-knit cycle of friends, acquaintances and family and not small, marginalised and struggling black entrepreneurs. So much was the dust generated from this transaction that Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies was forced to issue a new directive to all agencies falling under his mandate that outlines guidelines on their procurement, developmental activities and lending. Linda Ensor, reporting for Business Day, documented that the guidelines stipulate among other requirements that government funds may not be used to support the importation of finished goods and services.