Khanyi Dhlomo pays back NEF loan

Businesswoman Khanyi Dhlomo has paid back a R34.1 million NEF loan granted for the establishment of luxury boutique Luminance, the Sunday Times reported.

"One of the milestones that the [National Empowerment Fund] NEF is pleased about is the fact that Ndalo Luxury Bentures (NLV) - a black woman-owned start-up business trading as Luminance - has settled its loan obligations in full," NEF spokesman Moemise Motsepe told the newspaper.

He said the company had started paying off the loan since June 2013 --and had actually had up to five years to complete repayments.

The shop is run by businesswoman and media personality Khanyi Dhlomo, together with her mother Venetia and businesswoman Judy Dlamini.

Controversy arose last year when it emerged that the loan had been granted for the establishment of the Hyde Park boutique - with the Democratic Alliance suggesting, at the time, that the business was "anything but broad-based and essentially amounts to empowering the empowered".

At the time, NEF CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa defended the decision to fund the boutique, saying the retail sector needed transformation.

In August last year, after a presentation by the NEF to parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee, MPs across the political divide expressed support for the decision that had been made.

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