Luminance settles its R34.1m NEF loan
Khanyi Dhlomo’s luxury shop, Luminance, has settled its controversial loan from the National Empowerment Fund.
The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) said Ndalo Luxury Ventures, which trades as Luminance, had settled its R34.1 million loan, approved in August 2012 and which Luminance started paying back in June 2013.
The loan, apparently turned down by the big banks, was mired in controversy as Dhlomo was an established businesswoman and was opening a luxury store of largely imported goods in Hyde Park. This was contrary to the public’s perception of the NEF’s role. As well as this, soon after the loan was granted, the NEF placed a moratorium on new loan applications until the fund was recapitalised. The NEF claimed it initially declined the loan. But it said its mandate was “to grow black economic participation”. On top of this, Ndalo was 100% owned by black women, including staff and rural women; was managed by women, 81% of whom were black; and had 31 employees, 91% of whom were women and youth. Ndalo also trained local designers and rural women, the NEF said.
It said it had also asked Ndalo to make changes, like increasing the shareholding of rural women, creating more local manufacturing capacity and giving local labels access to global markets.
PAID UP Khanyi Dhlomo