DTI DG: Money given to Black Business Council not for political reasons

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director general Lionel October says they have a duty to help build business formations.

FILE; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director general Lionel October. Picture: dti.gov.za.

JOHANNESBURG - Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director general Lionel October says they gave the Black Business Council R7 million over the last three years because they were building the capacity of black business organisations and not for political reasons.

The council has attacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has reportedly said the council existed only to serve the aims of the Gupta family.

The council has also objected to the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (Fica) Act despite the fact it was passed unanimously by Parliament.

The Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday this means the DTI has been funding an organisation that has attacked the Treasury, after it asked the parliamentary question that led to the information being revealed.

October says they have a duty to help build business formations.

“The political posture and the political position taken up by business formations will change with the political cycle - and will go this way and that way every year. We are here for building the long term.”