There will never be another Luminance, CITY PRESS, Business
There will probably never be another Luminance financed with public funds. A new directive to all agencies owned by the department of trade and industry practically bans financing that will be used to import finished goods – even if it also satisfies other policy goals. After the public furore over the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) lending R34 million to help set up the luxury boutique in Hyde Park, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies demanded a report. On Friday last week, he presented his findings to Parliament, where he also revealed the new directive. While clearing the deal as “within the NEF's mandate”, his directive strongly indicates it really shouldn't be. “Our resources and incentives ought not to be deployed to support the import of finished products, as distinct from capital equipment or intermediate goods,” reads the directive. When imports form an “integral part of a business plan” that does support core objectives, “the presumption ought to be that we decline to deploy our resources to purchase imported finished goods”, it continues.