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I have nothing to hide - Dhlomo

The prominent businesswoman has denied claims she secured funding unfairly.

Ndalo Media CEO Khanyi Dhlomo. Picture: Destiny Magazine

JOHANNESBURG - Prominent businesswoman Khanyi Dhlomo has denied claims that she secured funding from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) unfairly.

Dhlomo received R34.1 million from the NEF to fund her upmarket retail store Luminance in Hyde Park.

On Tuesday, she told Talk Radio 702's John Robbie that everything was above board.

"I'm really comfortable that we've ticked all the boxes and that this deal has 100% integrity. We've got absolutely nothing to hide and I really think that we should be celebrating that for a change. Black people are starting a business from scratch instead of buying an overpriced existing business."

Dhlomo said she struggled to obtain funding from commercial banks.

"Historically it's very difficult for women, particularly black women, to raise money through the banks and that's why organisations like the NEF and others have been established by government."

Meanwhile, NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa defended the organisation's decision to fund Dhlomo's business venture. She said blacks remain key consumers within the retail sector.

"The retail sector contributes about six percent to the GDP of the country. It generates an excess of about R560 billion and if you were to unpack the structure of the sector, black people in South Africa are the ones who are driving the sector in terms of the buying power."

"When you go to places such as Sandton, Mandela Square, The Waterfront in Cape Town and Hyde Park, there aren't many black players. We said to ourselves what's the best possible way of transforming that sector? It's something that we've been grappling with for a long time as a fund."

She praised Dhlomo for cracking the retail sector.

"When Khanyisile and Ndalo Media came up with this concept we believed it's actually a concept that should be implemented by other black entrepreneurs. She had not gone to any of the established companies to say can I buy five percent of your company or acquire an equity position in your company.

"She started it from scratch and I believe that enterprise development is the way to go for black entrepreneurs in the country."

Dhlomo is not the only prominent person to come under scrutiny relating to their business deals.

In June, the City Press reported that the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) allegedly spent millions of taxpayers' money buying music equipment at inflated prices for up-and-coming DJs.

The company they bought it from was Madlosi Entertainment which is owned by Kaya FM station manager Greg Maloka and Kalawa Jazme boss Oscar "Oskido" Mdlongwa.

The NYDA has since asked KPMG to conduct a forensic audit into the deal.

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