DTI says it won’t interfere in Black Business Council politics

The DA said DTI’s funding of the council meant the ministry was actually funding its attack on the National Treasury and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

DTI Director-General Lionel October. Picture: DTI

JOHANNESBURG - Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October says they started giving money to the Black Business Council (BBC) when it was formed six years ago, adding that while its politics may be changing it cannot interfere.

On Thursday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said DTI’s funding of the council meant the ministry was actually funding its attack on the National Treasury and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The council has attacked Gordhan several times while he has been quoted as saying it only exists to help the Guptas.

October says they only fund the BBC as part of a campaign to strengthen business organisations.

“Every country must have strong business institutions, especially black businesses to create new institutions.”

But the DA’s Geordin Hill-Lewis says DTI simply shouldn't be giving them money.

“The Black Business Council has also been close to the Gupta family and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said they only represent the interest of that one family.”

October says it also funds other business groups.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)