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SA fashion mogul hits back

2013-07-30 15:53
khanyi dhlomo
Cape Town – Fashion tycoon Khanyi Dhlomo has defended the R34m funding she received from government to open a retail store in Hyde Park saying she "has nothing to hide," reports Eyewitness News.

Dhlomo received the funding from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and opened her store, Luminance, last Wednesday.

The grand opening of the store was attended by politicians and celebrities such as chief executive of the NEF Philisiwe Mthethwa and her husband, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and singer Lira.

After questions were raised as to why an already-successful businesswoman should receive such funding, Dhlomo told Talk Radio 702's John Robbie on Tuesday: "I’m really comfortable that we’ve ticked all the boxes, I'm comfortable this deal has 100 percent integrity.

"We’ve got absolutely nothing to hide and I really think that we should be celebrating that for a change."

According to Dhlomo she struggled to obtain funding from commercial banks.

NEF CEO Mthethwa has since defended their decision to fund Dhlomo’s business, saying "blacks remain key consumers withing the retail sector".

"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 added.

Mthethwa also praised Dhlomo for venturing into the retail sector and said that "enterprise development is the way to go for black entrepreneurs in the country".

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