Cash-strapped empowerment fund seeks interim bailout,Business Day,02 Sep 2016,Linda Ensor Political Writer
CAPE TOWN — Tough economic conditions have eroded the financial viability of National Empowerment Fund (NEF) clients and this has resulted in an increase in its provisions for impairments and writeoffs. The fund's weakened financial position — made worse on the balance sheet by the decline in the value of its 10million MTN shares in 201516 — has prompted it to renew its call for an urgent recapitalisation that would allow it to continue funding enterprise development and promoting black economic empowerment. The NEF annual report for 201516, tabled in Parliament this week, warns that without a cash injection, the fund will be forced to impose a moratorium on funding new transactions. NEF board of trustees chairman Rakesh Garach said in the report the organisation was engaging with the government in a bid to find a longterm funding solution.