No money in purse, but fund defends Hyde Park store loan, BUSINESS DAY (Late Final)
CAPE TOWN — The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has defended its R34m loan to Ndalo Luxury Ventures, the owner of the luxury designer store Luminance which opened its doors in Hyde Park last week. It said the loan was a “prudent investment” and “perfectly legitimate and praiseworthy”. Questions have been raised about the job-creation and entrepreneurial spin-offs of the investment relative to other possibilities, especially as the National Empowerment Fund has now run out of funds. The mandate of the statefunded organisation is to promote black economic participation with financial and nonfinancial support. In May it placed a moratorium on the commitment of new funds and has asked the government for a recapitalisation. The boutique department store — which stocks luxury brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen — is co-owned by magazine publisher Khanyi Dhlomo, her mother Venetia, wealthy businesswoman Judy Dlamini and the fund.