Lending should be more prudent, THE STAR AFRICA, Page 15
THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry should review urgently the criteria for empowerment grants from its National Empowerment Fund (NEF) subsidiary. Ms E hanyi Dhlomo is a most impressive African lady with an impeccable business pedigree, and her Luminance venture is apparently equally impressive. However, surely with her worthy credentials and obviously quality business plan, she could have been able to raise sizable seeding capital from the major banks or other such mainstream sources? It is not a case of whether her project is viable or whether she will be able to service the debt incurred, but of whether she really warranted such a huge financial grant from the NEF, which has extremely limited resources and consequently has now had to suspend loan operations owing to its funds being depleted. The question is, how many previously disadvantaged aspirant business people could have been financed in start-up ventures with the R34 million granted to Dhlomo?